NewsElection 2022


Santa Barbara and SLO counties see low voter turnout in Tuesday's primary

Election Ballots
Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 22:34:34-04

Right now, voter turnout in Santa Barbara County sits at 31.3% while the latest figures for San Luis Obispo County are still being worked out.

While primary elections typically bring in a smaller voter turnout than the general elections, most of the Central Coast residents we spoke to on Wednesday say Americans should exercise their right to vote every time election season comes around.

"I have no idea why somebody wouldn't vote. It's ridiculous as far as I'm concerned," said Arroyo Grande resident Buzz Elyer.

"I think they just don't see the importance of the primary," added Kerry Langford, who lives in Oceano.

Langford says he has been voting ever since he was first able to cast a ballot and that he looks forward to voting in every election.

Other locals say given the many ways in which people are able to cast their vote, there should be no excuse for not turning in your ballot.

"We immediately got that mail-in ballot, filled it out and mailed it in," Pismo Beach resident Leticia McCart told KSBY. "We feel strongly about a lot of issues now and we encouraged everybody else to do the same."

But not everyone is on the same page.

"I did see my little ballot come in the mail and I gave it some consideration, but I have a lot of other things that are higher on the list right now," admitted Arroyo Grande mother Jodi Knowles.

Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder Joe Holland shared some other insights on the low turnout.

"The ballot was really long and some of the voters maybe were intimidated by it," Holland said.

He also says that growing skepticism regarding the validity of elections may have also deterred some people from getting their ballots in.

"If you want to know how it really works, volunteer. Be a poll worker," Holland asserted. "You will see how it works and you will see how safe and secure your elections are.

Election officials say other reasons for people not showing up to vote in this recent election include a majority of local students being busy with finals week, as well as the fact that propositions are only voted on during the November general elections.