Because of delays in receiving ballots from outlying areas of San Luis Obispo County, county Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald could not provide an official count for voter turnout as of 10:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Earlier that day, Rodewald said she expected a roughly 50 percent voter rate, although she hoped for 60 percent.
Based on her visits to polling places throughout the day, Rodewald said, the turnout varied widely between stations, with some having only a handful of voters and others attracting long lines of voters.
Increasingly, people were bringing in mail-in ballots, added Rodewald, who concludes her final year as clerk-recorder on Dec. 31.
“We’re getting a lot of ballots dropped off at our drive-by drop-off box,” she said.
As of 11 a.m., she said, her office had received 400 ballots in the drop-off box.
Polling places The Tribune visited Tuesday morning were devoid of lines.
About 40 to 50 voters had cast their ballots as of 8:45 a.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in San Luis Obispo — a pretty good turnout for a midterm election cycle, precinct official Margo Smith said. Tuesday’s election was the seventh she had worked.
Tehya Widmann, 17, a senior at San Luis Obispo High School who’s taking an Advanced Placement government class, said she was working at the polls to better understand the process.
“I’m not old enough to vote yet,” she said.
At the Veterans Memorial Building in San Luis Obispo, Judy Fry used down time to knit. Around 10 a.m., precinct workers were only seeing about 11 voters an hour.
Fry volunteered to work the polls with her group SLO Quilters, which has adopted a poll for several years.
“The county has a little trouble getting people to work the polls,” said SLO Quilter member Vicki Bookless, sitting next to quilter Kathi Battles.