H-SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Nov 5, 2012 9:29 PM by Nikki Ibarra

More locals turning to vote-by-mail ballots

It's the eve before Election Day 2012 and on Monday, county clerk's offices throughout the Central Coast spent their day answering last minute voter questions and counting vote-by-mail ballots.

KSBY's Nikki Ibarra spent the afternoon at the Santa Barbara County Elections Office in Santa Maria, where she found voting early and vote-by-mail ballots are growing in popularity. In fact, Santa Barbara County issued about 123,000 vote-by-mail ballots this year. So far, 68,000 of them have been filled out and returned. The number is 10% higher than four years ago.

The vote-by-mail ballots were due October 30, but if you missed the deadline, you have until Tuesday, November 6 by 8 pm to turn it in.

If you're a Santa Barbara County voter, you can turn it in to the Government Center on Lakeside Parkway in Santa Maria, or you can turn your ballot in to any polling place in Santa Barbara County.

If you're a San Luis Obispo County voter, you can turn it in to the clerk's office on Monterey Street, or at any polling place within San Luis Obispo County.

Juanita Spitzer works in the Santa Maria branch office of the County Election Office, and said she's seeing more people turn to vote-by-mail ballots. "The fact that you can have the ballot prior to the election, take the time to educate yourself to see what the propositions are about, what the candidates are about and people like to take that time and not feel rushed at the polls," said Spitzer.

The polls on the Central Coast open at 7 AM Tuesday and close at 8 PM.

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