Early signs point to a healthy turnout for the 2018 primary election Tuesday, a top local elections official told San Benito Live.
Additionally, San Benito County is still looking for election officers to possibly work the polls for Election Day on Tuesday, while voters can get an early start with weekend voting Saturday and Sunday.
Those were a few of the updates given by Assistant Clerk Angela Curro before the primary June 5.
Curro said compared with the primary four years ago, San Benito County has seen just over 4,000 ballots come through as of today. In 2014 at this time, there were about 3,000 ballots, Curro said.
She believes a big part of the jump is due to the “convertible” ballot, a new feature that allows poll voters to vote by mail by indicating so on the sample ballots and returning them postage free. Curro said 529 people had taken advantage of that by the end of Friday.
“They’re more engaged even though it’s not a presidential election,” Curro said.
As for other items that jump out for Curro days before the election:
- Election officers needed: She said the office would like to bring on about 25 elections officers to work the polls. There are enough officers now, but she would like to have a good number on call as well. The elections office has about 150 people now, with one inspector and four to five election officers at each polling location in San Benito County. The election officers’ duties vary and include checking in voters, issuing ballots, giving instructions on how to mark ballots and answering questions. “You’re checking them in and walking them through the process,” she said. Election officers are paid $150-175 stipends depending on duties and work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with breaks.
- Weekend voting: Early voting for poll voters is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the San Benito County Elections Office at the old county courthouse. “Anyone that has failed to register, it’s not too late. They can still come into our office and register same day,” Curro said.
- New voting machine helps: The county office has new voting equipment that is speeding up the operation, requiring fewer volunteers in the office than usual. To this point, machines can do such duties as checking for mistakes on ballots, but there is no tallying going on so far.
For more information on the local election, go to http://sbcvote.us/.