California election brings out voters in record numbers

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San Francisco hasn't seen turnout figures this high since 1974, at least. And it's a similar story in Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties, too. (KGO-TV)

Tuesday's midterm elections brought out voters in record numbers.

San Francisco hasn't seen turnout figures this high since 1974, at least. And it's a similar story in Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties, too.

>>> California and Bay Area election results here

>>> National election results here

The surge of people registering to vote for the first time created extra work for elections officials both in San Jose and in San Francisco. About 1,200 people stood in line here, waiting for up to two hours to do what's called conditional voter registration. That allowed them to cast provisional ballots Tuesday.

The Registrar in Santa Clara County has been projecting a 60 to 70 percent voter turnout Tuesday, up from a more typical 20 percent for a midterm election. That translates into more ballots, arriving from all over the county from 1,098 precincts for tabulation. Many were young people.

ABC7 News asked one of them why. "I think they care about their future and what the future holds for them. So that's why," said San Jose voter Vanessa Panchal.

"We've had more than 3,000 people come to city hall just to cast ballots. And over half of the people who've come to city hall weren't registered to vote. They're actually registering today, getting their ballot and voting their ballot all in the same trip," said John Arntz.

The result was the busiest Election Day in history at San Francisco City Hall. No one is complaining about the additional work load as voting is the kind of civic engagement that is the hallmark of a democracy.

Full coverage on the 2018 election at abc7news.com/election.
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