SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – If the first week is any indication, the Bay Area could be heading towards unprecedented turnout in the 2020 election.

“My mom taught me to vote for what you feel,” said John Holloway of Oakland. “So me and my wife Bridget, we read over the ballot, you know, 21, 22, and vote yes or no. We go over it.”

After some dinner table discussion, Holloway was just one of the voters dropping off his ballot in Oakland Friday, part of an early voting surge unfolding across the Bay Area.

“Usually in the past we had four or five people on the first few days,” says Evelyn Mendez with the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters Office. “We’ve had over 300 people that have already voted in-person.”

One million registered voters, and counting, Santa Clara County is seeing a wave of new voters, and people showing up to do it the old-fashioned way.

“A lot of people want to vote in person,” Mendez says. “I mean, our county is majority vote-by-mail, but they want to make sure that ballot is in our hands. They’re voting early.”

“For one, make sure it’s in,” said another man dropping off a ballot in an Oakland drop box. “Didn’t want to take a chance on the mail.”

San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, KPIX 5 checked in on each of those counties this week and all of them are seeing similar trends, voters taking action early, and paying attention to detail.

“I brought my registration with me just to make sure that I had all the eyes and J’s dotted, T’s crossed,” said Jamie Beard in Oakland.

And this was just the first week. Election officials across the Bay Area are expecting this surge to build, which is just another reason some are acting now.

“I always vote early,” another Oakland voter said of the decision to turn the ballot in now. “Just the idea of having these votes in.”

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