2020 Election: In-person voting begins at 17 Contra Costa County locations

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In-person voting is now open at the registrars office in Martinez and at 16 other locations scattered across Contra Costa County.

Starting at 11 a.m., voters lined up outside a Pleasant Hill hotel for a chance to vote in person on brand new electronic poll pads.

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"We can see if someone's already voted or have returned their vote by mail ballot and we've counted it," Debi Cooper, with the Contra Costa Registrar said. "It's going to prevent fraud and allow us to reduce the number of provisional ballots dramatically."

Anyone can go to any location because of the real-time connection. Someone living in Richmond can vote in Alamo. Someone from Concord could vote in Lafayette, and have the correct ballot to fill out for local races.

At Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, the line wound around a parking lot

One voter said, "I expected a much longer line. I was surprised to see it is such a small area for all of Walnut Creek. It's the one place you can actually vote in person."

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Of 17 early vote locations, 12 are outdoors with the pitches tent for voting.

Another location of key interest is a Martinez sports court where 140 election workers and volunteers started extracting -- that is opening envelopes and taking the ballots out ready to be counted.

Besides the good weather and clean air, there was another reason to come out of pandemic isolation for this historic election. Voters said they liked seeing others come out to vote. Some said they chose to vote in person to be sure their vote counted or because they feared fraud in mail-in ballots.

Turn out so far is above 54 percent.

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