Polling places now open, Election Day voting underway

- The polls are open across the state this election day.

A KTVU crew was at the registrar's office in San Jose early Tuesday morning. Voters were dropping off their vote by mail ballots. They want to make sure their votes are counted today.

Inside the registrar's office, election workers have been working around the clock since yesterday.

This was a bit of a delay mid morning when a fire alarm went off.  Hundreds of people, including residents trying to vote, were briefly evacuated from a Santa Clara County building in San Jose this morning due to a fire alarm apparently caused by burnt toast, according to a Registrar of Voters spokeswoman.

The incident happened around 10:50 a.m. at the county building 2, located at 1555 Berger Drive, spokeswoman Anita Torres said.

Aside from the Registrar of Voters, the building also houses the county's Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Revenue.

About 200 people were evacuated from the building and poll workers immediately secured ballots. The evacuation last between 10 and 15 minutes, according to Torres.

Someone had pulled a fire alarm in the building due to the smoke caused by the burnt toast.

There was no fire in the building and no injuries were reported, Torres said.

Meanwhile, ballots are being sorted, opened, and put into the counting machines. The registrar says she expects 80 to 85 percent of registered voters to vote, so her office has a lot of work ahead of themselves. Voters we spoke to this morning are eager to see the results.

There are a number of key local races in the South Bay including the battle for a congressional seat between incumbent Mike Honda and challenger Ro Khanna. There's also measures on affordable housing, transportation and pension reform for San Jose city workers. There are 836 polling places in the South Bay. All are open now until 8 p.m.

A separate KTVU crew stopped by the Alameda County Courthouse where election workers were also kept busy. They have a lot to go through because they have more mail-in and early votes than ever before.

Twenty-nine percent or about a third of Alameda County voters have already cast their ballots either by voting early, dropping off or mailing in their ballot.

Other Bay Area counties like San Francisco and Contra Costa have noticed a similar trend. In San Francisco 32 percent of voters voted early. Early voting gives election officials an idea of how high voter turn-out will be overall.

It's not too late to mail in a ballot, but it needs to be postmarked today. 

Find your polling place here. 

Meanwhile - there are plenty of voting day freebies

  • Krispy Kreme: Show your "I voted" sticker at participating Krispy Kreme shops and get a free doughnut.
  • 7-Eleven: Get a free cup of coffee at participating shops...must use mobile app.
  • Zipcar: Free car rentals on Election Day from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Lyft: 45 percent off in some cities including
  • White Castle: Get a free gallon of iced tea with purchase of a Crave Case. must present a coupon in the restaurants or use the promo code: USA if ordering online.
  • Gold's Gym: Bring a valid "I Voted" sticker and get free access to your local Gold's Gym on Election Day free of charge.
  • Firehouse Subs: Score a free medium drink when you show your "I Voted" sticker.
  • Urban Outfitters: There are free pins that say 'I voted' at Urban Outfitters.
With most of these promotions, companies want to see your "I Voted" sticker but it's not required. In reality, federal law prohibits anything of value being offered in exchange for "proof of voting."   

 

 
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