Alameda County registered voter turnout in this year’s election has already surpassed that of the 2016 presidential election, with more ballots expected to be counted.
As of press time, more than 728,000 registered voters in the county, or 75.6%, have returned their vote by mail ballots. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have garnered about 82% of the recorded votes so far, with President Donald Trump at 16% of the vote, according to Alameda County’s election website AC Vote.
In 2016, for comparison, 75.42% of voters cast their ballots, with about 78% voting for candidate Hillary Clinton and 14% for Trump.
Accurate turnout data will not be known until all ballots are processed, said Berkeley city clerk Mark Numainville in an email. While 79,236 Berkeley residents were registered to vote this election, Numainville said in the email that this number is “not unusually high,” as it has been more than 80,000 in past elections.
Countywide, voter registration grew by nearly 80,000 since November of 2016, according to the AC Vote website.
In addition to the more than 728,000 ballots returned by mail so far this election cycle, even more ballots are likely to be counted as vote-by-mail ballots in Alameda County postmarked on or before Nov. 3 have 17 days after Election Day to be received by the Registrar of Voters.
Of the ballots returned by mail to the county so far, 62% were from registered Democrats, less than 25% were from voters with no party preference and slightly more than 10% were from Republicans, according to the AC Vote website.
In the last two decades, Alameda County registered voter turnout in presidential elections has fluctuated between a high of 78.27% in 2008 and a low of 74.3% in 2012.
Nationwide, voting-eligible turnout may reach its highest level since the early 20th century, according to some projections. Voting-eligible turnout numbers take into account the percentage of people who can vote, as opposed to registered voter turnout, which only measures the percentage of already-registered voters who cast their ballots.
As of press time, according to the AC Vote website, 524,137 of the recorded ballots were cast via vote-by-mail ballots compared to 46,150 reported votes cast on Election Day.