Registered voters throughout Riverside County descended on polling stations Tuesday to cast their votes in the midterm election, adding to the hundreds of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots already being processed by the Registrar of Voters’ Office.
According to registrar’s staff, election officials were taking ballots dropped at the Gateway Drive headquarters, where motorists were lining up to go through the parking lot and hand their envelopes to temporary field workers stationed outside.
Inside the HQ, people were casting ballots, with the same scenarios being played out at several hundred polling stations scattered countywide.
There were no reports of collection center delays or other problems as of midday.
By last count, the county had 1,042,411 registered voters. In the June 5 primary election, 983,917 people cast ballots in Riverside County, according to Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer.
For the last week, registrar’s staff have been processing absentee ballots, though Spencer could not immediately confirm how many had been counted. The first election results will be posted after the polls close at 8 p.m.
Well over half of voters countywide — about 685,000 — are registered absentee, according to election officials.
Voters will decide eight cannabis-related proposals in cities throughout the county. Most of the measures concern taxes on commercial growers and sellers, though in Hemet and Jurupa Valley, residents will decide whether to permit any type of commercial indoor grows and storefront sales.
Five sales, use, utility and transient occupancy tax measures are on the ballot, as well as three proposals for nine-figure bond floats to pay for upgrades to schools in the Hemet Unified, Palo Verde Unified and Perris Union High School districts.
Closely watched local contests include the sheriff’s race and two supervisorial races. One state senate seat is on the line, along with seven Assembly seats and four congressional seats.