The Manteca Transit Station on Moffat Boulevard and South Main Street was the scene of nonstop election action on Tuesday. It was easy to see based on the visual evidences alone.
"The lines have been nonstop. We had lines all day," said one of the 18 volunteers who worked at this presidential election location, one of four in Manteca. "We were a little busy this morning," and that was just the beginning.
Shortly before 3 p.m., the lines extended to the parking lot. And the volunteers said they were expecting even longer voter lines at 5 p.m. when people got off from work, and up to closing time at 8 p.m. Staff from the San Joaquin Registrar of Voters in Stockton have already dropped off even more ballots mid-afternoon, while picking up ballot boxes which they did every two hours.
"We ran out of ballots. It's going like crazy," one volunteer said.
As busy as this election center was on Tuesday, everything proceeded smoothly as voters went from the registration area just inside the door to the voting booths spread out in the spacious transit conference room. At the door, volunteer Irene True was there to hand them "I Voted" stickers.
For the first time, Manteca had four voting centers instead of precincts. There were also voting centers in Ripon and Lathrop. Altogether 35 voting service centers throughout San Joaquin County where voters could cast ballots or drop-off completed mail-in ballots.
There were also official ballot drop-off boxes throughout the county that voters could access in addition to mailing ballots.
All 365,839 registered voters received ballots in the mail due to the pandemic.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday 35.7 percent or 130,559 of those ballots had been cast and counted. Those represent what mail-on or drop-off ballots the elections office received by Tuesday that had signatures verified so they could be counted, Subsequent election night counts were expected to include ballots cast in person.
The rest of the ballots mailed-in or dropped off will be counted in the coming days once signatures are verified.
In the March 3 primary only half of the registered voters — or 150,482 people — cast ballots.