SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) –Sacramento County can legally start tallying votes as soon as it receives ballots and county officials are urging residents to vote early to avoid any issues.
“I made it out here on the first day,” voter Norma Casper told FOX40.
Casper was one of the voters who rushed to the Sacramento County Elections Office for the first day of early voting.
“I’ve been voting for a long time, yes, and I feel like this year is more important than a lot of other years,” Casper explained.
Her neighbors seem to agree with turnout already blowing away Registrar of Voters Courtney Bailey-Kanelos.
“For the 16 years I’ve worked here, we’ve never had a line on the first day of early voting first thing in the morning,” Bailey-Kanelos said. “It was great to see.”
County voting officials are working hard to keep voters safe by asking them to wear masks, sanitizing and making sure voting booths are well-spaced out.
But with COVID-19 still a major concern, the safest way to vote is by mail.
California is sending out mail-in ballots to every registered voter starting Monday.
“We have different layers of security involved to make sure that every ballot is credited to a voter and that we do a signature comparison,” Bailey-Kanelos explained.
But some have their doubts about the mail due to issues in recent months with the postal service.
“I’ve always trusted the mail-in ballots. We’ve used those for years,” voter Rachel Lyman told FOX40. “But I’ve heard things, that the post office may be impeded.”
Despite being in a high-risk category for the coronavirus, Lyman said she’s requesting a ballot and plans to drop it off in-person.
“I want my voice to be heard,” Lyman explained.
Concerns like Lyman’s led Yolo County’s Registrar of Voters Jesse Salinas to tour the West Sacramento U.S. Postal Service distribution center.
Based on what he saw he said the plant is well-prepared to handle these ballots.
“Seeing the ballots being processed and delivered as we speak just gave us as registrars the confidence that things are going smoothly,” Salinas said.
Sacramento County officials said residents should be receiving their ballot in the mail by the end of the week.
For those who don’t receive a ballot, voters can request one at the Sacramento County Elections Office.