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I talked to Deborah Seiler, the registrar of voters, Thursday. She said that fully 57 percent of voters countywide (199,543 of the total 370,771) Tuesday were absentee.

Wow. That would explain why the volunteers at my precinct looked so bored. My neighbors, like most voters, were voting by mail.

If a substantial majority of voters are voting before Election Day in San Diego now and if they appear to reflect the greater total vote — as indicated by the fact that the numbers didn’t change throughout the night — then we have a new reality. Not only is it smart to target absentee voters — it’s essential. And if you are going to make a last minute push for votes, you might have to scratch your head for a while to figure out when, exactly, the last minute is.

SCOTT LEWIS

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