by Photo by Sarah Berjan

Local leaders gathered to address the unusual ballot that sparked confusion among some voters who believe they are seeing double. 

Previous vacancies in the U.S. Senate race and the 80th District Assembly race will be on San Diego Ballots twice in the June 7 election. Voters in the 80th District will be voting to fill the vacancy left by Lorena Gonzales in a runoff election between Georgette Gómez and David Alvarez.

The second ballot item is to elect an officeholder for the 80th District beginning in 2023. 

“There is nothing more sacred in a free society than our franchise, our right to vote and to understand who, what, when, and where, and why,” Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Padilla said. “What has been recently apparent is that [elected officials] are hearing a lot from constituents who are confused about the uniqueness of some of the races, particularly in South County that they face on their ballot.” 

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla is up for election to fill the remainder of Vice President Kamala Harris’ term in the U.S. Senate. Voters will decide if he should carry out a six-year term, or if he should go. 

“I think that the voters throughout the state, but certainly who have a ballot in South County should double down on that in real life,” Padilla said. “They’re not seeing double. It's not a misprint. It's not a mistake. This isn’t Florida in the year 2000 when the ballots were weird. It's actually on there twice.” 

According to Padilla, it is lawful to vote for the same person twice on this ballot because voters are selected in two separate elections.

“It is important that voters understand that it's not a mistake. We just went through redistricting, so there are new districts. This also the primary battle for the election, or to the full term in the new district, which is slightly different and has slightly different boundaries,” Padilla said. 

The San Diego Democratic Party said it received a lot of calls from confused voters who thought they were seeing double. Padilla said this should be a learned experience. 

“If there's an area where we should be clear and consistent. It's on our election materials. It's in explaining what is at stake to voters because there are a lot of confused voters out there,” Padilla said. 

National City resident Zachary Francisco Gomez received his ballot three weeks ago in the mail and saw some names printed twice.

“I called the registrar voters, and that is when they told me it is not a mistake. I didn't waste any time. I marked my ballot twice,” Gomez said. “That special election runoff and the primaries are on the same ballot. With no postage necessary, you mail it off. It couldn't be any easier.” 

According to Becca Taylor, Acting Chair, San Diego County Democratic Party, June 7 is the last day to vote, and every day between now and then is election day.

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