NewsElection 2022


SB/SLO counties push to certify the election by December 8

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 22:25:57-05

Polls are closed but the election is far from over as ballot counting continues.

The first wave of results went live on the county websites for both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Those numbers came from early voters. Updates then came throughout the night as ballots from in-person voters were counted.

"All of our polling place ballots have been counted as of last night and now we go back to the vote-by-mail process from all of the ballots that were received from the polling places in the drop boxes and that were received in the mail," explained Elaina Cano, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder.

For each county, the work is just beginning because the majority of voters mailed in or dropped off a ballot as opposed to voting in person.

"Last night was not all that exciting because we only had 10,000 ballots to count and now we have 55,000 left to count. That’s not including the ballots we will pick up from the post office today," said Joe Holland, Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder.

The 10,000 in-person voters added to the 65,000 early ballots collected in Santa Barbara County, bringing them to around 75,000 in the preliminary results, and they still have 55,000 mail-in or drop-off ballots to go.

In San Luis Obispo county, 58,096 ballots have been counted but tens of thousands are left.

Before counting can even resume, the next steps are to sort and verify all of the vote-by-mail ballots received Tuesday or postmarked by Election Day.

"We just look for problems on the ballot. The line around the ballot is a timing line and if anything interferes with that line, we have to separate it out, either enhance, adjudicate or duplicate," explained Rochelle Friedman, Temporary Election Helper.

Once sorted and separated, then the counting can pick back up. For San Luis Obispo county, a new wave of numbers is on the way by Friday but then the team will break for the weekend. For Santa Barbara County, a team will continue the count through Saturday, hoping to fully certify the election results before Thanksgiving.

San Luis Obispo County foresees the process taking a bit longer than that due to the holidays and having no teams on the weekend.

By law, the County Clerk-Recorder's Office has 30 days to certify the election which would be December 8 at the latest.

According to both county clerks, overall turnout was underwhelming. Each county only had around 50 percent of registered voters actually voting.