vote_lede_template.jpgAs Chris Roberts reported earlier today, most campaigns expect today’s election turnout to be a low 35%. Add the expectation that about half of those votes are cast by mail (Chris reports “in the last three November elections held in San Francisco, absentee ballots comprised 50.35, 68.19, and 46.01 percent of the total turnout”) and it seems like your local polling places could be pretty empty today.

I just voted at my usual place, an Outer Sunset firehouse, and the “empty” theory was true for me. There was one other voter there, and workers said it had been slow all day.

Was my experience par for the course? I took a brief survey of folks I know, and was surprised at how many of them are in-person, day of voters. Here’s what they said they saw:

Beth Spotswood: who waits to vote until election day “in case something weird happens at the last minute,” visited her Mission district polling place in a residential garage at 8:35 this morning. “There was one other voter there.” she says.

Jackson West: voted at 9 AM at the Warehouse Workers Union Hall, 255 9th Street. He says it was “very quiet — one other voter?” With “no campaign workers…waving signs or anything. Most of the door hanger fliers on the sidewalk read Avalos.”

Derek Bradley: voted in a SOMA firehouse this morning, and said that it “wasn’t very busy” but that “I think I heard people say there was an early morning rush that I missed.”

Corey Denis: voted at 9 AM in the Northern Mission, not far from Church and Market. She says she had to wait maybe 10 minutes, and that she was in line behind “maybe 10 people.” “Herrera fans / lots of campaigning around my polling place,” she reported.

Cassidy Friedman: says he voted at about 12:15, and says “a voter was walking out as I walked in” at his church basement polling place at Oak/Steiner,” but that no one else was voting there, though a “guy came in as I was leaving.”

For those of you who have yet to vote, you can double check your polling place location here, and you have until 8 PM to show up and cast your ballot.

Are you rocking the red sticker today? How was it at your polling place?

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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