Santa Clara County on pace to break 2008 voter participation record

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- As of Tuesday morning, 661,000 mail-in ballots have already been received by mail or collected from country drop-off boxes and another 25,000 votes have been cast at Vote Centers, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office.

"We are expecting to pass our highest (voter turnout) ever which was in 2008 with 86% (participation). We are very close to beating that," said Evelyn Mendez, Public Information Officer for the Registrar of Voters Office in Santa Clara County.

Shortly after sun-up over Levi's Stadium Election Day voters started trickling in. For those waiting until Election Day to cast a ballot the biggest draw was the top of the ticket.

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"Mainly the presidential race that's an important thing for me," said Pravhakar Nellore, "It's been in the news every day and I want things to be better for everybody."

Others who skipped the 2016 Presidential Election said they couldn't sit out this year.

"This isn't just a simple vote - not like normal," said Michael Moreno. When asked by ABC7 News reporter Julian Glover if this race seems more important than 2016 he responded, "Oh yeah. I didn't even vote in 2016."

There was no line and no wait to get into the stadium.

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At Central Park Library in Santa Clara, there was a short line outside of the library that took voters about 30 minutes to get into a voting booth.

The wait was well worth it for first-time voter Juliana Razon.

"I think it's important to let them know that we're here and that we have to speak for others who cannot vote just yet," she said.

Some opted to drop off ballots received in the mail in person while others stuck to tradition.

"I've voted 42 times in person. I'm not about to change now," said Karin Williams.

If you are considering dropping your ballot in the mail today the registrar of voter's office suggests dropping off your ballot at a drop-off box instead to ensure it's collected in time.

In order for your mail-in ballot to be counted, it must be postmarked today and received no later than November 20.

However, if you drop your ballot in the mail at 1 p.m. and your mail person happens to have collected the mail at noon your ballot won't be collected and postmarked until tomorrow, therefore invalidating your ballot.

In Santa Clara County, mail-in ballots have been counted 29 days prior to election day so the registrar's office expects to report comprehensive vote totals when polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

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