One day at the end of 2013, Registrar of Voters offices at the county operations center will house the means voters use to make their votes count in local elections. The future of voting in San Diego will no longer center around the old warehouse office in the county annex building around the corner at 5201 Ruffin Road.
Adding the most important citizen's junction in politics to the Overland Drive operations center will keep workers busy for a year. The third millennium energy efficient building got its place at the center campus in December of 2012. County supervisor lined up to begin the work with a groundbreaking.
Equal opportunity voting takes a main voter location that is easy to gather in, with no tough slow downs, rain or shine. Common citizens have to get there, and tell the county staff a plain decision.
Whether a citizen comes in to register, or uses a mail in ballot the registrar sends them, the staff will take their votes at the new building that will have its closest street entrance off the end of Hazard Way, just a block west of Ruffin Road. Not far from the old warehouse build built in the 1970s the county bought to use for offices in the 1980s that still serves as the county's annex a block south of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. An open door is easy to find without a guidebook.
Voter activities have grown during the 2000s after record voter turn outs just past the turn of the millennium. Single file lines have grown in the number standing in line. Voting by mail, including absentee voting, has not stopped growing in size, up to above 700,000 at the last count the former registrar of voters made before her retirement in December last year. Citizen lines can thin out at the new 118,000 square foot building that will house both the registrar's offices and the mail operations.
The foundation will go in the ground after excavation work is done. On Friday, February 15th, the lot was all rough dirt dug up by shovel machines and smoothed work paths. Construction workers were busy handling their own holes.
Digging will have to go deep to open up enough room in the ground to put in the long flat foundation.
The county is piecing together a small citizens community on the 47 acre campus in the middle of Kearny Mesa. One covered with short paths in to the voting headquarters, and grassy areas to relax in. Citizens can move as quick, or careful, as they choose.
Easy going choices are San Diegan.
The final addition to the County Operations Center completes the citizen community that gives new arrivals a cafe and a community conference center to gather in and take an opportunity to talk about San Diego politics. Amidst the operations offices housed in four office buildings, counting the two finished during the last phase in the center development project that ended with the conference center and cafe construction in August.
All the registrar's staff will have a place at the new building. The lot the warehouse annex building stands on that also houses a county probation office on the west side and a project and permit processing office on the east side of the cafeteria in the north front will get handed over to Kaiser Permanente who will build its newest hospital on the site.
Political participation can stay on its current pace. And, move ahead.
Making a voting headquarters out of the now empty lot next to the county visitors parking is changing the citizen's map, according to plan. There will be no break in the county work until the doors are set to open in December.
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