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Bay Area Election Workers Prepare for Historically High Absentee Voting

MARTINEZ (KPIX 5) -- Every registered California voter will be sent an absentee ballot for the November election. If you have never used one before, be on the lookout for an e-mail from the Secretary of State's office asking you to double-check your address.

At the Contra Costa County Registrar's office in Martinez, employees say they're prepared for potentially 150,000 extra mail-in absentee ballots from people who've never voted absentee before.

"We are very, very good at processing vote-by-mail ballots. After the 2018 election, we upgraded all of our mail-handling equipment and scanners and sorters. We already had a large capacity but we've increased our capacity," said Scott Konopasek the county's assistant registrar of voters.

Time is important.

Ballots should by mailed to voters by October 5 and election officials ask that you turn them in as soon as possible.

The USPS is saying to expect it will take at least a week to deliver your ballot to the registrar. In Contra Costa County, voters can bypass the post office entirely by using one of the 45 drop boxes checked daily by the registrar.

In an interview late Thursday afternoon, President Trump pushed for quick election results.

"I just feel I don't want a delay. I want to have the election but I also don't want to have to wait three months and then find out all the ballots are missing and the election doesn't mean anything," Trump said.

David Levine, a constitutional law professor at UC Hastings says that, despite protestations, absentee ballots by mail remain secure.

"What happens is you request a ballot, it comes back to you and it's printed with your name on the envelope. That goes back and you have to sign that envelope and you are attesting it is you and then that signature is checked against your registration before they go ahead and count the ballot," Levine told KPIX 5.

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