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Tens Of Thousands Of Ballots Already Cast On Central, South Coasts In California Gubernatorial Recall Election


Voters have options from voting by mail, to casting ballots in person

California’s gubernatorial recall election is now exactly three week weeks away. Should Governor Gavin Newsoe be recalled? And if so, which of 46 candidates should replace him?

The questions are pretty straightforward. Even as we continue to be bombarded by television and radio ads on the issue, tens of thousands of voters on the Central and South Coasts have already made their decisions.

The vote-by-mail ballots went out last week, and many have already cast them. Mark Lunn is Ventura County Clerk-Recorder Registrar of Voters.

"We've had a great response so far," said Lunn. "We've received about 33,000 ballots back, primarily through the drop boxes we have spread around the country."

Joe Holland is Santa Barbara County’s Clerk-Recorder-Assessor. He says the ballots went out in the mail August 16. Holland says he actually received his own ballot in the mail at home the next day.

There are options for voting. You can simply fill out the ballot and mail it, use drop-off boxes, take it to a polling place for drop-off, or turn it in at a polling place for a chance to vote live and in person.

In Ventura County, there will be 51 voting locations in the county open September 11-14. In Santa Barbara County, the polling places will only be used on September 14..

The ballot is a simple one for most on the Central and South Coast. You vote yes or no on the recall, and pick someone who would take over as governor if the recall succeeds. Holland says voters in one Santa Barbara County have a second issue on their ballots. City of Lompoc voters will decide whether to create a cannabis tax.

Even though the ballot questions might be simple, the infrastructure for the election is still in the millions of dollars for our region. Santa Barbara County is putting its price tag at around $2.8 million, and Ventura County at around $2.7 million. The state will reimburse the counties, but regardless, we are all paying.

"I just encourage everybody to vote your ballot," said Holland. "It's an expensive election. Don't waste our money. It's about $12 a ballot."

Holland says if you are voting by mail, or dropping your ballot at a secure box, there’s one more very important thing to remember. He says you have to sign your ballot envelope. If you don't sign it, it can't be counted.

Election Day is September 14 and vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by that date, or turned in at a polling place or secure drop-off boxes.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.