MARTINEZ (KPIX) — One week out from Election Day and about half the Bay Area’s registered voters have already cast their ballots. In some counties, those ballots are already making their way through the scanning machines.

“We’re scanning, but we are not tabulating,” says Contra Costa County Assistant Registrar of Voters Scott Konopasek. “And we will be doing this every day between now and Tuesday.”

The high-speed scanning machines are up and running in Martinez, and they won’t stop until Election Day. Five-page ballots from about half of Contra Costa County’s registered voters are already here.

“Right now, we are over 48 percent,” Konopasek says. “I expect by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning we will hit that halfway point of 50%”

“We will inch up to probably around 45% by the end of today,” says Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis. “We’ve started scanning as well. We’ve scanned about 500,000 ballot cards so far.”

Other Bay Area counties, like Alameda, are on a similar pace as voters continue to show up early in large numbers.

“Normally, I vote the day of, in my polling place,” said Cassandra, dropping off her ballot outside the Alameda County Courthouse. “I decided to come out for safety reasons and vote early. I also want to make sure my vote is counted and I can track it online.”

In many areas these in-person drop offs are now outnumbering ballots arriving by mail, as caution drives voting behavior. And your local registrar of voters thinks that’s a good policy.

“I urge people to vote early,” Konopasek says. “Don’t take any chances of lines, delays, or power shutoffs, or wildfires, or evacuations, or asteroids, social unrest. Just vote now.”

Ballots postmarked before or on Election Day should be accepted, if they reach election officials by November 20th. Voters can eliminate that worry by dropping off ballots in an official election drop box.

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