San Francisco

Several Bay Area Counties Open Vote Centers for California Recall Election

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In less than two weeks, Californians will decide if Gov. Gavin Newsom should be recalled.

Some voters have already been returning their ballots and this weekend, there were more options available in some Bay Area counties.

In San Mateo County, some voters came to drop off ballots. While others want to come to a vote center in person as more open up.

But people seemed to be engaged with this special election.

“This weekend is very special in that we start opening our 11-day vote center,” said Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer for San Mateo County.

Eight additional vote centers in San Mateo County were ready for the gubernatorial recall election that’s less two weeks away.

“The vote centers are very important because they provide services and people may lost their ballot,” Irizarry said.

Irizarry told NBC Bay Area that about 90% of San Mateo County voters are mailing in ballots or dropping them off at drop off locations.

“We have sent out 440,000 ballots to every registered voter in San Mateo County,” he said. “As of today, we have 167,000 ballots have been returned that’s approximately 38%.”

On Saturday, a few voters decided to come in person.

“I had my ballot but I decided to do it on the machine. When I voted on the machine, it had a print out that showed who I voted for and I dropped it. So at least I know its official," said Foster City resident Hernan Santos.

"I think trusting the system today is a little tough." Santos added.

Newsom was in San Francisco earlier this week fighting to keep his job and faces a wide field of potential replacements including opposition front runner Larry Elder. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was in the city earlier this week.

At San Francisco City Hall, where early voting began last month. It was quiet but ballots keep coming in.

“This is the really the definition of the concept of vote by mail. We have about 189,000 ballots back and all of about 6000 come back to us in the mail,” said John Arntz, San Francisco Department of Elections Director.

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