NewsDecision 2020


Santa Barbara Co. sets record for registered voters

Posted at 4:51 PM, Feb 27, 2020

Santa Barbara County says it has hit a new record for registered voters -- about 227,000 people, and the county expects that number to continue growing.

The Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder wants to remind the public that if you are still not registered to vote or have yet to submit your ballot. it's not too late.

"I am very proud to vote. I think it is our right but it is also a great privilege to vote in every election, and I make sure to do it every election. This election I decided to vote by mail," said Michael Ritter, Guadalupe resident.

Like Ritter, many people in Santa Barbara County are casting their ballots -- 80 percent of registered voters, according to the Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder.

In the past, if you missed the voter registration deadline, you simply did not get to vote.

Now, same day registration changes that.

Voters can now update their registration information, including their political party preference, and cast their ballot through Election Day.

"Every person should be registered and should vote. I think this election is extremely important to the direction this county goes in in the next four years," said Wanda McDonald, Santa Maria resident.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county has received approximately 49,000 mail-in ballots.

Joseph Holland, the county clerk-recorder, said he suspects there are many undecided voters due to the Democratic Presidential Primary.

"I am waiting until the last debate which was Tuesday and now I am going to wait until the voting in South Carolina is over with and then I will vote. I am voting by mail-in ballot," McDonald said.

No party preference voters can get a cross-over ballot for the Democratic, Libertarian, or Independent parties.

If, however, a no party preference voter wishes to vote on a Republican ballot, they will have to re-register to do so.