Every registered voter on the Central Coast will likely receive their mail-in ballots this week for the November 8th General Election.
People can sign up to track their ballots at the California Secretary of State's website.
Elaina Cano, the Clerk-Recorder for San Luis Obispo County, told KSBY, “I will be traveling down to Goleta to watch the trucks roll in and deliver our ballots to the post office and be verified there and checked and then pushed out into the mail stream.”
In San Luis Obispo County, there are about 182,000 registered voters. That numbers jumps to 237,000 for Santa Barbara County.
Voters can mail-in their ballots as soon as they receive them or drop them off at select ballot drop boxes.
“We have 29 (ballot boxes) located across the county. They are open 24 hours and for those folks that want to deliver their ballot directly to the elections office," said Joe Holland, the Clerk-Recorder, Assessor and Registrar of Voters for Santa Barbara County.
The ballot boxes in San Luis Obispo County are staffed, therefore they are only open during regular business hours.
Clerk-recorders for both counties say they expect a higher voter turnout than they saw for the June Primary Election. San Luis Obispo County's turnout was just under 50% and Santa Barbara County's was 40%.
Both Caino and Holland anticipate a 60% or higher turnout for this election. “Typically for the general election, we have a higher voter turnout as opposed to the primary elections, the primary midterm elections. So usually we expect a little bit of a bigger turnout for this one,” added Caino.
“Beginning next week, we'll probably wait till we get a substantial stack of them before we start that. But the actual processing of the ballots begins in about a week, but those results are not knowable until 8:00 on Election Day, Holland said.
For those who choose to cast their ballot on Election Day, they can drop their mail-in ballot at any polling station, but both Clerk Recorders remind people to check their ballots beforehand.
“One of the most common mistakes is people forget to sign their vote by mail envelope. You must remember to sign it and every signature is verified so that it determines whether or not it matches the signature we have on file,” said Holland.
“Other delays that happen when we're processing ballots is when voters do not fill in the bubble in its entirety with a blue or black pen,” said Caino.
For mail-in ballots to be counted, they need to be postmarked by Election Day.