Bay Area early voting centers open with 'strong turnout' ahead of California's recall election

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With California's recall election less than two weeks away, early voting is expanding in several Bay Area counties starting this weekend. Elections officials say voter turnout is already shaping up to be historic.

The drive-thru lane is open at San Francisco City Hall. It's the first weekend you can drop off your ballot for California's recall election..

"I'm here for the convenience of doing it on a Saturday and then just to get my vote in early, think it's a waste of money we're having to go through all this," said voter Pebbles Robinson.

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"I feel like it's important for every vote. I think we've seen in the past couple of elections how every voter matters," said voter Kim Knapp.

This weekend, city hall is also open for in-person early voting.

San Francisco Elections Chief John Arntz says fewer voters are showing up here, but mail-in ballots are flooding in with strong voter turnout. So far, 183,000 ballots have been received out of about 500,000 ballots mailed to registered voters in the city.

"The turnout is two percentage points behind last November's 2020 presidential election, that election was actually the biggest in the city's history," said Arntz.

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It's becoming clear just how high interest is in deciding if Governor Gavin Newsom keeps his job in Sacramento.

San Mateo County is opening more voting centers starting this weekend with more ways and more days to vote.

"There is a lot of activity in early voting, particularly on the vote by mail side of the equation," said San Mateo County Assistant Elections Chief Jim Irizarry.

County elections officials say 167,000 mail in ballots have been received out of 440,000 registered voters.

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But others are choosing to vote in person.

Hernon Santos from Foster City says he doesn't trust the post office with his ballot.

"I don't know who at the post office receives it, I have more confidence with the elections division here," said Santos.

Elections officials say every vote will be counted, more voting centers will open starting next weekend.

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