More than 1,400 polling places are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. Tuesday for a primary election in which San Diegans will vote for mayor, decide between two ballot measures and choose among numerous legislative and congressional candidates.
Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler told City News Service that early indications point to a low turnout—in the neighborhood of 40 percent.
Up to last Saturday, 2,212 residents took advantage of a few weeks of early voting at the registrar's office, compared to 8,535 in a similar period two years ago, Seiler said. Roughly 32 percent of the 761,000 or so mail-in ballots that had been sent out were returned by midday Monday, she said.
Polls will be open until 8 p.m., and the first batch of results—from the early voters and mail-in ballots—is expected to be released soon after, according to Seiler. She said the first results from precincts should be available by 10 p.m.
Rancho Bernardo residents will choose between four experienced elected officials for mayor—Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. A fifth candidate, Tobiah Pettus, is also listed on the ballot. Steven Greenwald and John "Woody" Woodrum are write-in candidates.
Voters will also decide on the following:
City of San Diego Propositions
Proposition A would, if approved, forbid the city from forcing contractors on major municipal projects to submit to Project Labor Agreements, which backers believe are too union-friendly. Proposition B seeks to change the city's pension system by giving most new employees 401(k) plans instead of enrolling them in the pension system, and only base salary over the next five years would be calculated into a worker's eventual retirement pay.
San Diego County District 3 Supervisor
Five candidates are vying in Tuesday's election for the first open San Diego County supervisor seat in nearly two decades.
Longtime Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, whose District 3 stretches from Encinitas to Escondido, is retiring, guaranteeing that for the first time since the 1990s, a new supervisor will join the panel.
Running to replace her are Dave Roberts, deputy mayor of Solana Beach and the only Democrat in the race; Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard; Steve Danon, chief of staff to Rep. Brian Bilbray; Bryan Ziegler, deputy county counsel; and Stephen Pate, a transportation coordinator in the film industry.
If one of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote today, he will take the seat. If no one receives more than 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will advance to a November runoff.
52nd Congressional District
California's new "top-two" primary system and redistricting will add some twists to San Diego's congressional and legislative races in today's election.
The changes could be felt most by Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, who will try to fend off two strong Democratic challengers in the 52nd District, which is mostly new territory for the incumbent.
The fact that his challengers—port Commissioner and former San Diego Councilman Scott Peters and ex-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego -- are both Democrats will no longer matter under the new primary rules. If they collect more votes than Bilbray, he will lose his seat and Peters and Saldana will compete against each other in the November general election.
Under the old rules, the candidates would run in intra-party primaries, with the winners facing each other in the general election.
Bilbray, long a Democratic target, will have the challenge of votes possibly being siphoned off by four other Republicans in the race. Only one other declared Democrat might skim votes from Peters or Saldana.
A wildcard could be former Santee Mayor Jack Doyle, who is in the primary as an independent.
The district Bilbray will represent was shifted from being oriented along the North County coastline toward inland areas as far east as Rancho Bernardo Poway. District boundaries are adjusted every 10 years, according to fresh U.S. census data.
-City News Service contributed to this story