Tips for Election Day from County Clerk-Recorder
Election day tips from the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder:
Coronavirus precautions for voters
In light of concerns for the spread of the Coronavirus, voters are reminded that they can send their Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots in the mail or at dropped off at one of the designated VBM ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. There is a ballot box available at the Paso Robles Library. If dropping off at the post office, it is recommended to go to the postal counter and request a “circle datestamp” to ensure it has Election Day’s date on it.
Polling place voters may bring their own personal blue or black ink pen to mark their ballot at the voting booth. And although there will be a limited supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, voters may want to bring their own sanitizer or wipes.
All regular health recommendations are encouraged: wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover when you cough or sneeze.
Return of vote by mail ballots on election day
Make sure the identification envelope is signed before you return the ballot. Mailed Vote By M (VBM) ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received within three days of Election Day are eligible to be counted. If you are dropping your VBM ballot in the mail on Election Day, get a “Circle Date Stamp” on your envelope at the mail counter. However, vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered at any polling place in the county (or state), at our new VBM ballot drop boxes located throughout the county, or at the County Clerk-Recorder’s offices in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drive-by-Dropoff of VBM ballots is available at the Monterey Street side of the San Luis Obispo office at 1055 Monterey Street on Election Day. If you want to vote at the polls instead of voting by mail, take the ballot with you to surrender. If you have misplaced your ballot, new legislation allows VBM voters to vote a regular poll ballot if it is determined that their ballots were not returned. Precinct workers will call the Elections Office for this information. At a minimum, VBM voters will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot at the polls.
Check your polling place location
Check your polling place on the back of your sample ballot or yellow voter notification card if you registered to vote after Feb. 18. Many polling places have changed and you should not assume that you will be voting at the same polling place as the last election. If you cannot find your sample ballot, call the Elections office at (805) 781-5228 for your polling place location. We will have additional phone lines open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can also look up their polling place on the Internet at www.slovote.com.
Conditional voter registration and party changes
Recent legislation has extended Conditional Voter Registration (aka Same Day Registration) at the polling place on Election Day for those voters who missed the deadline to register. These voters will be required to vote a provisional ballot in which their eligibility will be determined during the canvass period. Also, very recent urgency legislation allows for voters to complete a political party or residence address change form, which then allows them to vote a regular poll ballot.
New accessible voting equipment
There are new accessible ballot-marking devices for voters at the polls to assist voters with disabilities to vote independently and confidentially. However, any voter can utilize the machines if they desire. The new devices were obtained when the Secretary of State decertified many of the voting system that counties have been using, including the Automark ballot marking devices, last year. These new machines are an extension to the new voting system the county purchased in 2018.
It is helpful if you mark your sample ballot and take it with you to the polls on Election Day, so when you enter the booth you can more easily make your choices on the official ballot.
Avoid busy times
If you have a choice of time to vote, avoid the busiest time of the day: before work (7 to 9 a.m); during lunch hour (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and after work (5 p.m.to 8 p.m.)
Leave the t-shirts, buttons and hats at home
Electioneering, including wearing anything with a campaign slogan on it, is prohibited within 100 feet of the polling place while the polls are open on Election Day. Anyone wearing such campaign slogans will be asked to remove or cover them while they are in the polling place. Please help our poll workers by respecting the non-partisan nature of the polling place.
Any person with questions about registering to vote or any election issue may contact the County Clerk-Recorder, Elections Division at (805) 781-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.