Voice of San Diego — Registrar of Voters Michael Vu faces the logistical headache of all logistical headaches every election year.
With the help of a staff of 64 that balloons to 9,000 on Election Day, he needs to make sure that voters get ballots and sample ballots. That’s no simple task. San Diego County is so full of public agencies with elected officials that the registrar must print up nearly 600 different ballots for voters, depending on where they live. Plus nearly 600 sample ballots. And every single ballot and sample ballot has to be translated into five languages.
Then Vu has to oversee the counting and certification of the votes before the process starts over again. In his seven years with the county, he’s only had one (2011) that passed without a single election.
Now, the Registrar of Voters office is finishing its move into a new building in the county’s sparkling new administration complex, getting ready for the special San Diego mayoral election on Feb. 11 and assisting candidates who want to get on the ballot in 2014.
Vu, who previously worked in the election world in Salt Lake City and Cleveland, could see his job drastically change if California elections ever move to mail-only or online-only voting. For now, though, it doesn’t look like that will happen soon.
In a Q-and-A, Vu talked about the high cost of elections (the Feb. 11 mayoral election alone is estimated to run $4 million to $5 million), the differences between elections in Cleveland and here, and the reason he thinks of himself as a wedding planner.