Registrar of Voters office
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa. File photo

San Diego County residents go to the polls Tuesday in a highly anticipated midterm election that is widely viewed as a referendum on President Trump.

Record turnout is expected locally and across the country, and campaigns have spent $3 billion nationwide on advertising — double the amount in 2014.

According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, more than 1.7 million county residents are registered to vote for Tuesday’s election — a local record.

Polls are open in San Diego County from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents unsure of their polling place can quickly find it online.

Residents can also drop off a mail ballot at any of the county’s 1,542 polling locations. That’s up from 1,444 in the June 5 primary.

Ballots can also be submitted at any of the county’s 59 libraries and the registrar’s office at 5600 Overland Avenue in Kearny Mesa.

“So far, we have received 430,000 out of the more than 1.2 million mail ballots that were sent to voters,” said Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. “They’re being sorted and scanned now so they’ll be ready to count right when the polls close.”

Because of the popularity of mail ballots, it could be days before the final results are known in close races.

Within minutes after the polls close, results will be available for the ballots that were mailed in, submitted at drop-off points, or voted at the registrar’s office before Election Day. After that, precinct results will trickle in, with the bulk expected around 11 p.m. The final, unofficial election night tally won’t be complete until after 4 a.m.

But that’s only 55 percent to 60 percent of the total vote due to the outstanding mail ballots, which will take several more days to count.

“It’s not over on election night, and it hasn’t been for a long, long time,” said Vu. “Close contests are not decided until all the ballots are in the count.”

If you have a problem voting, you can call one of the California Secretary of State‘s telephone hotlines. The numbers are (800) 345-VOTE (8683) for English
and (800) 232-VOTA (8682)  for Spanish.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.