Bay Area Sees Huge Voter Turnout

Galvanized by the most rancorous presidential election in recent memory, voters are turning out in record numbers across the Bay Area, with county officials projecting turnout will surpass that of the 2016 election.

Voters in Santa Clara County have cast a whopping 660,000 ballots so far — that’s about double what the county received at this time in 2016, according to Ryan Aralar, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara County registrar of voters.

“We have about 25,000 in-person voters that came to the vote centers in the past couple of days, which is great,” Aralar said. “But today — for Election Day — we expect a lot more, probably over 100,000 at least.”

San Francisco officials say the vote-by-mail return rate is the highest they’ve seen, with 66% of registered voters already having cast a ballot before today.

The city could break its turnout record, set in the 1944 election, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

John Arntz, San Francisco’s director of elections, said turnout this morning was “a little bit light,” but that mail ballots continue to pour in, in unexpectedly large numbers.

In San Mateo County, Mike Church, chief elections officer, said voters were “turning out in record numbers.”

As of Oct. 26, 443,000 people, or 88% of all eligible adults in the county, were registered to vote, a 9% increase over the 2016 presidential election, Church said.

Statewide, more than 22 million people are registered to vote, nearly 88% of all eligible adults — that’s California’s highest percentage heading into a general election in the past 80 years, according to the secretary of state’s office.

— Marco Siler-Gonzales, Nina Sparling, and Kevin Stark (@starkkev)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Bay Area Sees Huge Voter Turnout