Attendants at polling sites around the Mission were optimistic about voter turnout this afternoon.
At Hua Zang Si temple on 22nd Street, poll workers said voters had been lining up outside the polling site before it had even opened, and that the number of voters coming in had remained steady throughout the day, rather than dwindling to almost nothing for the periods between rush times.
By around 1:15 p.m., the ballot count had reached 324, representing 81 of 845 voters registered. Maria Luz Torre, the poll inspector at Hua Zang Si, estimated the turnout to be double, perhaps even triple what it had been last year. Nonetheless, the site still has a ways to go to surpass the 2010 total of 359 ballots logged by the time polls close. Just after 4 p.m., the number of votes at Hua Zang Si had jumped to around 117.
Gary Huang, who was helping to run the polling site at Valencia Gardens, said 558 ballots had been counted on the machine. Since four different ballots are cast per voter in this election, that accounts for about 140 out of around 1,000 voters registered there. Huang added that this doesn’t include mail-in ballots, which are counted separately. Valencia Gardens’ total voter turnout during the 2010 midterm elections reached 54 percent with mail-in ballots.
At Mission Station, the machine had counted 444 ballots by 12:45 p.m., accounting for about an eighth of the 883 voters registered there. In 2010, a total of 380 voters cast their ballots on site, with a 70 percent total turnout when mail-in ballots were included.
The ballot count wasn’t impressive (244 counted, reflecting 61 of 776 registered voters) at 710 Florida Street, but poll worker Sadhana Seelam said the site was much busier today than it was at the last vote. Turnout numbers from the 2010 midterm election show that site collecting 300 ballots over the course of the day, with a total voter turnout of 70 percent.
“This has been much more hectic,” Seelam said. “I’m happy about that. I love seeing people exercise their right, their responsibility, to vote.”
At 3 p.m., the polling garage at 2700 22nd Street had recorded 104 ballots cast. Bill, the poll worker, said it had been steady and so far about the same as the last mid-term elections. The real rush, he said, would come in a couple of hours when people get out of work. He still looks fondly at the 2008 election when Barack Obama ran for the first time to become the first African American president. “Voters were lined up all the way down 21st street,” he said.
An earlier version of this story did not account for the four-ballot voting system and overstated the turnout estimates of local polling places based on unadjusted ballot counts.