vote_lede_template.jpgBay Area elections officials are expecting high voter turnout for today’s election, in part because more people are voting by mail than in the past.

“We have had an increase in the number of people applying to vote by mail. Traditionally, people tend to vote more consistently through the mail,” said Warren Slocum, chief elections officer for San Mateo County.

Peninsula polling precincts are reporting a steady stream of voters and no major problems.

Slocum is projecting anywhere from 60 to 62 percent turnout. Of the total registered voters, about 53 percent vote by mail, he said.

The turnout is expected to be “slightly higher” than it was four years ago, he said.
Napa County is projecting roughly the same turnout as San Mateo County, about 60 percent.

“The state is projecting around 41 percent and we usually beat the state by about 15 percentage points,” said John Tuteur, Napa County assessor-recorder.

About 78 percent of Napa’s voters are registered to vote by mail, Tuteur said. Of the 53,000 vote-by-mail ballots mailed out, he said they received 25,560 back, the results of which will be revealed at 8:01 p.m.

San Francisco doesn’t predict turnout, but as of Monday the registrar’s office had received 86,247 vote-by-mail ballots. That does not include mail from last night or today, spokeswoman Rachel Gosiengfiao said. A total of 214,042 vote-by-mail ballots were issued.

Phones in San Francisco’s elections office were quieter than usual, Gosiengfiao said.
“At 7, we normally get voters calling, but calls didn’t pick up until after 8. Maybe San Francisco is still celebrating the Giants’ win,” Gosiengfiao said.

Santa Clara County is expecting a 60 to 65 percent voter turnout of the county’s 779,330 registered voters, which is pretty typical for a gubernatorial election, said Elma Rosas, spokeswoman for the registrar’s office.

About 235,000 mail-in ballots were received in time to post after polls close tonight, Rosas said. The remaining votes being received today will be verified and posted by Wednesday morning.

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