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A look at how mail-in voting will work in the Bay Area amid the pandemic

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Voting this November is going to look a lot different than in past years, at least in most parts of California.

First, every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail. If you don’t know if you are registered or if they have your current address go to your county’s election website, and check.

“In San Francisco, voters should start seeing ballots in the mail October 5th,” S.F. Director of Elections John Arnzt said.

Once you get your ballot, you will have a little less than a month to fill it out and get it turned in so it can be counted. The most obvious way is by putting in the mail box. The postal service recommends doing this at least a week in advance.

But there will be other options.

“We’re trying to put the message out that the polling places are also ballot drop off locations,” Arnzt said.

Not only can San Francisco voters drop off their ballot at those 588 polling locations, but they can also vote in person there. They can also drop off their ballot or vote in person outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium where they will have an outdoor voting center starting October 5.

“Our motto here is more days and more ways,” San Mateo County Elections Jim Irizarry said.

In San Mateo County, they started all mail voting back in 2015.

“Vote by mail is one of the safest and securest ways to vote in the state,” Irizarry said.

And in San Mateo County, they will have plenty of options to get your ballot in by Election Day.

Another change in San Francisco instead of the ballots being counted at City Hall, they will be counted at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. There’s more space here and it allows for more social distancing for election workers.

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