Expectations of low voter turnout got us thinking: What gets people to the polls? And what keeps them away?
When asked why she voted, KQED Producer Nina Thorsen launches into an epic origin story. "When my mother realized she was pregnant with me, she was standing in line to vote for Adlai Stevenson" for president in 1956.
Faced with a long line and strong civic pride, Thorsen's mother "needed to stay in line to vote for Adlai." She did, and the lesson was passed down to her yet-unborn daughter. "I was born to vote in every election," Thorsen said.
Poll worker Brie Felder views volunteering and voting as her duty. "My ancestors lost their lives trying to get the right to vote. It's my patriotic duty."
Belinda Ricklefs enjoys voting in person. "I like coming to the polls and talking to the poll workers. It feels much more democratic to me" than voting by mail.
Tsamchoe Shrestha, of El Cerrito, looks after toddlers Isabel and Clara as they play in Dolores Park. She is babysitting them for the day, and says she doesn't know if she'll be able to get to the polls in time to vote -- but she plans to.