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Voting Tuesday? Tips for a smooth Election Day

Posted at 3:12 PM, Nov 05, 2018

With the final countdown to election day beginning, we have some last minute tips you’ll want to know if you plan on voting.

On Tuesday, outside the San Luis Obispo County Government Center on Monterey Street, you’ll be able to pull up and drop off your ballot without getting out of your car.

Another option is utilizing the drop-off box outside the building. It’s open 24 hours a day, but keep in mind it will be locked at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

One day ahead of the election, folks took advantage of being an absentee voter. It’s an option many described as convenient.

“For the first 20, I may have walked in and done it myself but there’s many more people now and life is a little busier and it’s just much easier to do it by mail,” said long-time voter Holly Garcia.

There are 77 polling places throughout San Luis Obispo County and 84 places in Santa Barbara County where you can drop off your ballot, as well.

If you’d rather mail it, it needs to be postmarked by Election Day to be counted.

“If they’re going to send their ballot tomorrow on Election Day, to actually go to the mail counter and request for a circle date stamp for a postmaster to place on their envelope,” said Tommy Gong, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder.

If you’re on the fence about voting, you can still register at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. It’s not too late.

Bonnie Evans registered and voted for the first time ever on Monday.

“I feel like it’s never too late. At 50-something, step out and get your voice heard now. I realized that my vote is important,” Evans said.

If you’re planning on going the traditional route and voting in person, Gong has some additional tips to avoid the crowd.

“The best time to go to the polling place is during mid-mornings or mid-afternoons,” Gong said. “The busiest times, of course, are going to be first thing in the morning at 7 in the morning or during lunchtime or after 5 o’clock.”

You can check the status of your vote-by-mail ballot on the county website.

Another tip, you don’t need to vote on every contest if you don’t want to.

And new this year, if you live in one county and work in another, you can actually drop off your ballot anywhere in the state.

The polls are open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

California law permits employees to take up to two hours off work without loss of pay to go ahead and vote.

If you need a vote-by-mail ballot or a replacement, you can call the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. You will most likely be given a provisional ballot at your polling place.