Voters taking advantage of extended hours and early drop-off

More early ballots mailed this year than 2008

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Thousands of people cast their votes early in Kern County and continued to do so into Monday night to beat election day lines.

As of Monday morning, county election officials said they have received nearly 98,000 out of 178,000 ballots mailed out, which is more than the 2008 election.

"It's been a steady flow all day today," said Karen Rhea, the division chief at the Kern County Elections Office. "Since we opened this morning, it's been non-stop traffic through our office. A lot of people (are) showing up voting and dropping off their ballots as well."

Many voters were taking advantage of early drop off and extended hours.

"I'm really pleased that we are open until 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow," said Emily Gonzalez Demont. "That is wonderful we have all of our offices open. The more convenient is it for us, the better."

23 ABC caught up with Alfred Garza who always walks his ballot into the office so he knows it was delivered.

"I want my ballot to count," said Garza. "I don't want it to get mixed up in the mail or anything. I just want to drop it off."

A few of the nearly 100,000 people across the county who have already cast their vote had this message for those who have yet to do so: "Voting is so important to the way our nation works," said Gonzalez Demont. "You have to be part of the process. You have to give your input or else you cant complain about it."

Polling places in California are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.

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