COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising across San Luis Obispo County less than two weeks before a statewide election is set to take place.
In a press conference on Aug. 31, Dr. Penny Borenstein, county Public Health Officer, said that the county is facing the highest number yet of coronavirus patients in intensive care.
The Gubernatorial Recall Election is on Tuesday, Sept. 14, and county officials are sharing safety tips with local voters.
To limit contact, officials encourage voters to return their Vote-by-Mail ballot through the mail or by dropping it off at an official drop box.
There are 17 Official Ballot Drop Boxes across the county. Voters can also drop their completed ballot off at the San Luis Obispo or Atascadero Elections Offices.
The county is offering Drive-Up Ballot Drops at the following locations:
- Atascadero Lake Pavilion
- SLO County Elections Office in Atascadero
- Paso Robles Masonic Complex
- Cambria Vets Hall
- Morro Bay Vets Hall
- SLO County Elections Office in San Luis Obispo
- South County Regional Center
Those looking to vote in person will have to wear a mask while inside a polling place. They should bring their blank Vote-by-Mail ballot to trade in for a precinct ballot.
Officials also recommend bringing a personal blue or black ink pen to vote with, knowing how you plan to vote ahead of time and staying aware of how you are feeling. If you feel sick or experience symptoms, stay home and return your ballot by mail.
Polling places will have a limited supply of surgical masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and disinfectant wipes for voters.
Elections officials remind voters that every Vote-by-Mail ballot will be checked for a signature. Every valid vote will be counted, regardless of how it is returned to the elections office.
Anyone with questions about voting or ballots can get in touch with elections officals at 805-781-5228.