Majority of Orange County Voters Have Already Cast Their Ballots

November 2, 2020 Updated: November 2, 2020

On the last day of early voting in Orange County, California, before the presidential election on Nov. 3, more than 58 percent of registered voters in the county have already cast their ballots, either by mail or in person.

According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, nearly 125,000 people had cast in-person ballots as of mid-afternoon on Nov. 2.

Nearly half of those voters cast their ballots in person on Oct. 30—just over 58,500 people. On Oct. 31, nearly 27,800 voted in person, and more than 28,000 voted in person on Nov. 1.

Orange County residents had also returned 1,087,572 vote-by-mail ballots by Nov. 2.

Of those, around 39 percent were returned by residents registered as Democrats, while about 35 percent were returned by registered Republicans. Those without a party preference had returned nearly 22 percent of the ballots so far.

By comparison, 1,239,405 total ballots were cast in the county during the entire 2016 presidential general election.

A total of 1,771,377 people are currently registered to vote in Orange County and are considered active voters. Of those people, approximately 37 percent are registered as Democrats, about 34 percent are registered Republicans, and around 24 percent listed no party preference.

In 2016, 1,535,967 people were registered to vote.

Around 294,600 residents are also now registered but are inactive, meaning either they moved or election mail sent to their address was returned. Inactive voters are still eligible to vote.

“Inactive voters may be removed from the voter registration list if they do not confirm or update their registration, and if they do not vote in two consecutive federal elections after they are made inactive,” states the registrar’s website.

On Nov. 2, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it would monitor the election to ensure voting rights compliance at select locations around the country, including Orange County.

The department’s Civil Rights Division will send personnel to a total of 44 jurisdictions in 18 states on Election Day to help protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot. The DOJ will also accept any complaints from the public about possible violations of voting rights on its website at CivilRights.justice.gov or by telephone at 800-253-3931.

On the afternoon of Oct. 31, Orange County was notified of a suspicious package outside of a vote center at the Westminster Community Services Building, prompting the vote center location to close. All staff and voters were evacuated while the package was investigated by Westminster police.

“I am grateful that our Vote Center team members and voters are safe,” Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelly said in a statement.

“My office is dedicated to providing election services for the citizens of Orange County to ensure equal access to the election process, protect the integrity of votes, and maintain a transparent, accurate and fair process. We look forward to serving voters at our 167 other Vote Center locations.”

After the investigation, the package was found to be safe, and the Westminster location was cleared to reopen for voters later that evening.

Over 160 voting centers opened across Orange County on Oct. 30, including a “super” vote center at the Honda Center, organized through a partnership with the Anaheim Ducks and the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Anyone eligible to vote in Orange County can visit any voting center in the county, regardless of the voter’s home address. Locations can be found at the Orange County Registrar of Voters website at ocvote.com.

On Election Day, Nov. 3, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @dadasarahle