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Recall election ballots begin arriving in voters' mailboxes

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 22:27:56-04

We're less than a month away from the special election in which California voters will decide whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

For this recall election, every registered voter in the state of California will get a ballot in the mail.

If you haven't received your ballot yet, you should any day now.

In Santa Barbara County, 238,000 ballots were mailed on Monday and in San Luis Obispo County, 185,000 ballots were sent out.

It's the second recall election within the last couple of decades.

"The first election that I administered as the registrar of voters was October 7th, 2003," said Joe Holland, Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder. "It was the recall of Gray Davis when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor."

On that ballot, there were 135 candidates.

"It was kind of a crazy election," Holland said.

For this recall ballot, however, there are 46 candidates vying for the governor's seat.

With Election Day on September 14, there are a few options to make sure your vote is counted.

You can drop it off at a blue mailbox or one of the county election drop boxes.

There are 26 locations now open in Santa Barbara County and 17 drop boxes in San Luis Obispo County at various libraries and city halls.

"The drop boxes that are inside lobbies are subject to that location's dates and hours of operation. They are staffed and monitored," said Helen Nolan, San Luis Obispo County Deputy Director Acting Clerk-Recorder.

You can also drop off your ballot at any of the clerk-recorder offices.

Another option is to wait until Election Day when you can go to your assigned polling place.

There are more than 50 polling places in both counties that will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you don't know where that is, there's a QR code in the San Luis Obispo County Voter Information Guide that'll direct you to the right spot.

"If you do want to vote in person, please take your vote-by-mail ballot to your assigned polling place and surrender it so you can be issued a precinct ballot and vote live on the day of the election," Nolan explained.

As the counties start to receive ballots, they'll start processing them.

Initial results will be available at 8 p.m. on election night.

"I'd encourage you to make your proper choice. Get that ballot in the envelope. Sign your envelope and return it to us as quickly as possible," Holland said.

The recall election has a price tag of $2.8 million in Santa Barbara County. In San Luis Obispo County, there's an initial estimated cost of $1.1 million.

Another tip - don't forget to sign the envelope before you mail it. Postage is free.

The clerk-recorders add that they can count ballots if they're postmarked by Election Day even if they're received after Election Day.