For Carmen Dechaine, June 7, 2022, is a day she’ll never forget.
“It is our right as citizens. I am 18 years old, so this is definitely my first time voting,” said Dechaine.
Even with a couple of bumps in the road, she made her vote count.
“There were a couple complications. I thought I registered to vote, but I guess I didn’t,” said Dechaine. “I immediately came in today when I realized today is the last day because it is so important for me to use my right to be able to vote.”
David Forrest couldn’t ignore his duty.
“I’m a scout master of troop 322, so I need to set an example as a citizen,” explained Forrest.
Sergio Parra took his time filling out his ballot in person at the San Luis Obispo County Government Building.
“I put it in my calendar, but I completely forgot about it until the day of,” said Parra. “I put it in my calendar because I wanted to make my way down and read about the candidate instead of filling out bubbles of familiar names.”
Voters haven’t been as engaged with the 2022 primary election cycle.
“The returns have been slow,” said San Luis Obispo County Deputy Director Clerk-Recorder Melanie Foster. “However, judging by what's been turned in yesterday and today, we have definitely picked up.”
About 40,000 San Luis Obispo County ballots were turned in as of Monday but election officials remain hopeful Tuesday’s turnout gets those numbers up.
“I believe our turnout for the 2018 gubernatorial was about, I want to say 60%, and we've been hovering at right now 25 to 30% turnout,” said Foster. “I mean, we're going to have to double what we've already done to get close; however, we are getting deluged with ballots right now, so it is entirely possible.”
Parra said every time he votes, he keeps his loved ones in mind.
“Grateful I get to vote, not everyone gets to, my parents, my grandparents didn’t get to,” added Parra.