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May 5, 2014 9:11 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News

Mail-in ballots arrive this week, ahead of June Primary Election

About 200,000 ballots are in the mail, bound for Central Coast voters before the primary election on June 3. This year voters may notice their ballots are no longer party specific. Now, every voter can vote for any candidate and from any party regardless of party affiliation. Voters approved the new system in 2010. For the San Luis Obispo County Clerk's Office and poll workers, "it makes it a whole lot easier. The partisan primaries create a lot more work," said Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald. Rodewald says her office will save at least $20,000 in ballot ordering fees, and more when considering how much time staff will save if they don't have the prepare or sort ballots by party affiliation. However, she says the impetus for streamlining the system was to get more people to vote in the primary election. "We still get the feeling from voters that it doesn't really make any difference if they vote in the primary because the real election comes in November. But there are local contests that will be decided in June because there are only two candidates," Rodewald said. In San Luis Obispo County, these include the races for District Attorney (Tim Covello vs. Dan Dow), District 2 Supervisor (Bruce Gibson vs. Muril Clift) and Morro Bay Mayor (Jamie Irons vs. Carla Wixom). In Santa Barbara County, this includes the Sheriff's race (Bill Brown vs. Sandra Brown) and District 2 Supervisor (Janet Worf vs. Roger Aceves). Unless one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in June, races with three or more candidates will move forward to the November general election with the top two vote-getters. "That's the important thing. Who do we want to vote for in November? Because you have to make sure they get there," Rodewald said. Rodewald said the ballots should arrive to vote-by-mail voters between Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Voters must sent their ballots to the county election's office or a polling place to arrive by 8:00 p.m. on June 3. In order to vote in the June primary election, residents must register by May 19. For San Luis Obispo County residents, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/clerk/elections For Santa Barbara County residents, visit www.sbcvote.com

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