East Bay

Contra Costa County Sees Big Response as Early Voting Begins

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With early voting underway this weekend, many voters are dropping off their ballots, and in Contra Costa County, elections officials are already seeing a big response.

“I went in and had mine stamped because I wanted to be sure,” one voter said.

Ashley Parker decided to mail her ballot early in the week, just as they began arriving in mailboxes. She said she doesn’t usually vote this early but that this is an especially chaotic situation.

Across the county, there are nearly 40 drop boxes, and on Saturday plenty of people took advantage of that option.

With the general election less than a month away, voters are already signaling just how important that is.

Voter response has already been strong.

“As of Friday, after we picked up all the ballots from all the drop boxes around the county, we were at nearly 70,000 ballots returned,” said Scott Konopasek, assistant registrar of voters for Contra Costa County. “That’s almost 10% of the voters in the county. Typically, I would have expected by Friday to have between two and 500 ballots.”

So far, more voters in the county have used the mail than ballot drop boxes.

Despite no evidence of election fraud linked to the post office, some people have been hesitant to use the mail. For others it’s a matter of convenience.

“I know it’s important to get it in on time and have everything signed and all that good stuff,” said voter Terri Price. "So I dropped it off. This election is a very important election, you can not miss voting this time."

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