SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – With just five days to go until this pivotal November election, the push to make everyone’s voices heard is leading to record-setting numbers.
More than eight million votes have already been cast in California and across the U.S., more than a third of registered voters have already cast their ballots.
In the South Bay, the sorting, verifying, and counting of ballots has started, and almost half the ballots that were mailed out to voters, have already been returned.
Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey spent part of the day Thursday helping man a ballot box where a steady stream of voters was adding to the already record number of ballots received.
“We have already received over 478,000 ballots back, so it’s been great. We’re processing those on a daily basis,” Bushey said.
An army of workers is already processing and counting the first returned ballots from the record one million-plus registered voters.
So far, more than two times as many ballots have been returned compared with this time four years ago.
People are invested in this election like never before says the registrar.
“It tells us that people have been listening to the message that we are putting out, actually I think the whole nation has been putting out voting early, and, you know, we’ve been talking to a lot of voters if you’re even worried about the post office, skip the post office, drop it off in a dropbox or at a voting center,” Bushey said.
It means there will be that much less counting to do on election night but that doesn’t mean we’ll know all of the winners and losers right away.
The return and counting of ballots will continue long after the polls have closed and the huge numbers mean the counters have their work cut for them.
“We need to process provisional ballots, conditional voter registration, and their ballots, and we do many audits, including a 1% manual recount,” Bushey said.
The registrar has 30 days to complete the counting and certify the results and for those who missed the October 19th deadline to have a ballot mailed to them, Bushey explained what you can do.
“They can go to any of the vote centers and do what we call conditional voter registration, where they will register and vote at the exact same time,” Bushey said.