Early voting strong as deadline to register nears

Today is the last chance for Californians to register to vote, but it appears most Bay Area folks can’t wait to get to the polls.

Reflecting a trend across the country, early voting — by mail or at polling stations — is off to a fast start in the Bay Area.

Nationwide more than 5.3 million votes have been cast already, far outpacing the rate for this period in 2012.

Balloting is underway in 34 out of 37 early-voting states.

In all, more than 46 million people are expected to vote before Election Day — or as much as 40 percent of all votes cast.

In Santa Clara County, election officials say 10% of all registered voters have already voted with 2 weeks still remaining before Election Day.

"In a presidential election people are really excited and they want vote early so we mailed out about 585,000 ballots on October 11th and have been issuing more ballots since then," said Philip Chantri of the  Santa Clara County registrar's office.

Chantri also told KTVU that 850,000 people have registered to vote, which is higher than 4 years ago, and they are expecting 80-85% voter turnout.

Voters told KTVU they were coming out early for a variety of reasons:

"I really want to get my opinion and voice expressed and the best way to influence our government is really through the ballot," said Jessica Conner of San Jose

Voters who have not yet registered are able to do so in-person at any government office or online or until midnight tonight.

Click here to register to vote