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Supervisors Opt To Keep Community Polling Places

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, by a vote of 4-1 at their meeting on Oct. 10, opposed the implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA), which sought to eliminate hundreds of local polling locations throughout the county.

Supervisor Paul Canepa dissented to allow the County to continue to keep the door open to the VCA model.

“One of the most important things we can do now post-COVID is build community,” said Supervisor Steve Ding. “What better way than by encouraging citizens and volunteer groups throughout San Joaquin County to build community by getting involved in the elections process and adopt a polling location in their neighborhood.”

Interested civic groups and clubs are asked to reach out to the Registrar of Voters to inquire about this option.

The VCA is a voting initiative pushed by the State of California that seeks to centralize voting to a certain number of vote centers by eliminating hundreds of polling locations across San Joaquin County.

In 2022, there were approximately 178 local community polling locations, which allowed voters the convenience of voting in their communities and neighborhoods on Election Day. Additionally, there were 25 voting drop boxes to allow multi-day voting in central locations in the county.

“The hybrid model that San Joaquin County currently uses provides the public more choice than the wrongly named ‘Voter Choice Act,’” commented Board Chairman Robert Rickman. “By supporting polling places, encouraging Election Day voting, along with mail-in ballots and secure drop boxes, the Board supports San Joaquin voters’ method of choice. We want to continue expanded access to allow every eligible voter the opportunity to cast their ballot.”