BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A lot of people say they wanted to get voting over with today so they can avoid the rush expected on election day. Beating the lines ahead of election day may have worked out for those who showed up to the Elections Office early Monday morning, but once lunchtime hit, a preview of what election day may look like at polling sites in Kern County became more apparent.
For Glen Deltour, the wait was worth it, voting for more than a dozen presidents, long lines have become a way to practice patience. This year's election, he says is the most important one of his lifetime.
"I've been voting ever since I've been old enough to vote, every election, and this is the first time that I've ever really seen a lot of people enthused and excited about an election," said Deltour.
Nearly 40%t of vote-by-mail ballots have already been cast in Kern, and thousands more are expected to come in on election day. County spokeswoman Megan Person says polling sites are gearing up.
"They're in the process of setting up their polling sites now or they did so yesterday and what you'll see early in the morning, all of the equipment that is specific to casting the ballots will be delivered on sites with the team," said Person.
The results of the election may take weeks to determine and the potential for civil unrest following the outcome has been discussed for several months now across the nation. However the results play out, Andrae Gonzales is calling on residents to be civil.
"It's important for everyone to take a deep breath and let's wait for the final outcome. It's ineffective and deleterious for us to seek other paths such as violence and destructive behavior in the community," said Gonzales.
Officials are urging people to mask up while going inside polling places. But for those who do not want to wear masks, the county spokeswoman Megan Person says they'll be able to request a poll worker to make an accommodation for them and bring a ballot out or whatever they need outside of a polling site.