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Tips for Election Day from County Clerk-Recorder 

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Election day tips from the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder:

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.

Be prepared

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 elections@co.slo.ca.us.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@accesspublishing.com.

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