LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More than 3.1 million Los Angeles County voters have already cast early ballots as tens of thousands more hit the polls on Election Day Tuesday in what could be a historic turnout.
As of late Monday night, over 3,187,000 Angelenos had cast their ballots, a turnout of 55.6% of all registered voters, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office.
It will have to be seen if L.A. County can break its turnout record from the 2008 general election, when 82% of registered voters cast ballots.
Of those who have voted so far, 2.65 million returned mail ballots, while about 537,000 have voted in-person.
Photo Gallery: Voters Hit The Polls Across LA County On Election Day
There were just under 800 vote centers across the county which opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open through 8 p.m., when polls close. Some L.A. landmarks are serving as poll centers, including Dodger Stadium, the Pantages Theatre, The Forum and Staples Center.
Thanks to the deluge of early voting, most voting centers were seeing lighter-than-normal traffic Tuesday. The vote center concept replaces the traditional precinct system, which required voters to cast ballots at designated locations on election day.
There are also another 400 ballot drop boxes where they can drop off their mail-in ballot.
The first count released after the polls closed will be ballots that were submitted through Saturday. That first return could include as many as two million ballots, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan said in a news briefing Tuesday morning.
According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, county election officials this year were authorized to begin opening and processing vote-by- mail ballots up to 29 days before Election Day, although no results can be released until after the polls close. In past years, counties could not begin processing any ballots until 10 days before an election. The rules were adjusted this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated surge in vote-by-mail balloting.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department will have voting-rights monitors in the field Tuesday in L.A. and Orange counties, and across the nation.
The department historically has monitored in jurisdictions in the field on election day, and is again doing so this year. The department will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)