Large early voter turnout in Alameda County

A large number of early voters has several Bay Area counties predicting a turnout that is on pace with the 2016 presidential election.

Voters in Alameda County took advantage of drop boxes, an early vote location, and a drive-thru drop stop outside the county elections office in Oakland.

Leslie Rein of Oakland dropped off her ballot at the drive-thru location. 

“Voting by mail is just the simplest thing ever,” she said. “I used to go to the precincts, but this is so much more convenient.”

Dozens of people packed the office of the County of Alameda Registrar of Voters.

“I’m actually surprised and encouraged that there are a lot of people voting because I think a lot of people take voting for granted and in order to make changes in policy, we have to vote,” Gil Dong, a resident of Oakland, said.

Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis said the turnout has been great.

“We’re seeing a turnout at the pace of the last presidential election in November 2016,” Dupuis said. “So far we’ve got 200,000 early votes and it is just Monday.”

San Francisco and Contra Costa County are also predicting a similar turnout to the 2016 presidential election. Marin and Santa Clara Counties said they are seeing a bigger turnout than that 2014 mid-term elections.

Several voters said they are engaged during this election cycle because they know what can happen when people don’t vote. Others said they feel compelled to fulfill their civic duty.

“I think it’s an important thing to do,” Mitchel Rubin of Berkeley said. “I have a voice. Even though it’s just a small part, all the parts count.”

San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties said they are expecting a large turnout at the polls on Tuesday. Depending on the county, voter turnout is predicted to be about 60% or 70%.