Fresno County reports strong voter turnout for California recall election

CBS47 News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) In Fresno County, officials are reporting a good turnout for the recall election as election workers wrap up a busy day and secure ballots for processing.

Throughout the night, workers have been securely bringing in ballots to a warehouse in Fresno, checking them off, and then storing them for processing, which begins Wednesday.  

“It’s always important to vote, always important to vote,” said Scott Baly.

Baly was one of an estimated 18,000 Fresno County voters who opted to vote in person on election day.

“If you check the wrong box or wrong place it gets litigious, and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes and I made the right choice,” explained Baly.

Voters had many options to cast their ballots, they could mail it, drop it in a secure box, vote in person, and even drop it drive-thru style on election day at the Fresno County Elections Office.

“We all have a big election and big decision to make and voting counts so that’s why I’m here today to make sure my vote is counted and heard,” said voter Jay Smith.  

County election officials say turnout spiked during the last two hours before polls closed.

Then began the race to securely bring election materials to the warehouse.

The county, using a sheriff’s helicopter to transport items like memory cards from vote centers in rural areas to cut down drive time

“We separate memory cards from the ballots as part of a security measure, kind of a redundancy to make sure we protect the results and it also means we get results out to the public a little faster,” explained Fresno County clerk and registrar of voters, James Kus.

Kus says they’ve had observers throughout the election, and that it’s been a great experience.

“Observers have been very polite, asked a lot of good questions that I hope are being spread out to the public, I do that too, every once in a while we get an observer who is maybe too overzealous,” explained Kus.

While official results are days away, Kus estimated around 55% of registered voters cast their ballot.

A solid turnout, in a year unlike any other.

For the next three days, workers will be in the warehouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., verifying and counting the ballots.

Kus hopes by Friday afternoon, the county will release 90-95% of the votes.

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