New vote-by-mail changes for California voters - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

New vote-by-mail changes for California voters

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Election Day is underway in the City of Santa Barbara. It's a vote-by-mail-only election.

Occasionally, people who vote-by-mail forget to sign their ballot, which is necessary for a vote to count. However, a new clause in the California Elections Code helps some voters correct their mistake.

Sarah Gorman, Santa Barbara City Clerk Services Manager, says her office has been noting which envelopes they've received since the beginning of October that have missing signatures.

"Our office contacts them to let them know that it's missing and they have until the Wednesday, the week after the election, to come into our office... and sign their ballot," Gorman said. 

Those who receive a call will have until Nov. 15 to go to City Hall and sign their ballot.

City officials say the number of ballots with missing signatures is less than 100 so far.

Locals James Sprague and Anne Bradbury dropped off their ballots on Tuesday and election workers checked for their signatures before they left.

"If it's really, really busy and we don't have a chance to drop it off in the mail, and we don't have a stamp to drop it in the mail and all that, then we do what we just did," Sprague said.

Another fairly new change that has been in place since 2015 is California Elections Code 4103. That requires mail-in ballots to be postmarked on Election Day and received by the clerk's office on Friday to count.

"We and the state are always looking to make sure as many people can vote as possible so I presume it's to that goal," Gorman said.

Ballots can be dropped off until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the following locations:

  • City Hall Lobby, 735 Anacapa Street
  • First Presbyterian Church, 21 East Constance Avenue
  • Franklin Neighborhood Center, 1136 East Montecito Street
  • Harding Elementary School, 1625 Robbins Street

Related coverage:
Santa Barbara voters to elect new mayor

Related links:
City of Santa Barbara Elections Home Page

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