Plan Your Vote: Bay Area Voters Sound Off on Why They Vote

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Election Day is now 11 days away, and while many California voters already have returned their ballots, some are still making up their minds.

NBC Bay Area talked with voters in different communities around the Bay Area, many of whom already cast their mail-in ballots. California is one of nine states that automatically sent mail-in ballots to all registered voters this year in an effort to keep voters safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 21.6 million ballots were sent to registered voters, and according to the California Secretary of State, nearly 5 million vote-by-mail ballots already have been returned as of this week.

Election officials will start counting those votes on Election Day and will continue until 17 days after the election or until they’re done, whichever comes first.

NBC Bay Area will be talking with voters about issues such as voting during a pandemic, election integrity and voter trends among women, minorities, young voters and conservative voters.

On Friday, the kickoff question was: Why do you vote? Here are some responses from around the Bay Area:

Katja Younes of San Francisco: "I think it’s important every year, but we feel the intensity of it more this year."

Omar Maklaf of Livermore: "I think this time right now is unlike any other time before, so I think it’s important to vote."

Emily Adams Piper of San Mateo County: "I feel particularly passionate about the president, but generally I always vote."

Kyle Perry of Redwood City: "Who we put in office should represent us and our morals and what we expect from our government."

Chris Young of Napa: "We hold the power no matter what people think."

There's still plenty of time to plan your vote. Here are some tips:

  • If you’re mailing your ballot, it has to be postmarked by Nov. 3.
  • Verify your ballot box is legitimate though your county registrar’s office
  • Check the signature on your ID to see what election workers are trying to match on the outside of your ballot, so it isn't rejected
  • Vote only once. If you received a duplicate ballot because of a change in your registration, do not fill it out and return it; that's a felony.

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