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Strong vote by mail return in Santa Barbara County

A drive thru drop off box at the Santa Barbara County Elections office has been popular with those that have vote by mail ballots and want them returned right where they will be counted. The site on Calle Real has had a steady stream of cars all day.

Many people were also in the main office lobby either getting questions answered or voting on the spot.

Santa Barbara County has had an impressive return already. There were 153,000 vote by mail ballots issued. Already about 80,000 have been returned. Overall, of the 222,983 registered voters, more than half requested to vote by mail.

The elections office has added staff to handle the strong surge of voters coming in. Some will be outside to take ballots if the line up of cars builds up. This afternoon there were no problems with a fluid stream of cars and people.

Voter Jeff Crute said, “it makes voting more accessible and theoretically it is our constitutional right to go out and vote. Sometimes in years in past it might have been more difficult to vote. This was easy.”

The office also had extra hours over the weekend.

Bill Parris, dropped off his ballot and headed to the airport “because I am flying to San Diego right now and if I didn’t vote today I would be out of luck.”

Moments later on a motorcycle, Allison MacPherson dropped off her ballot without waiting until tomorrow or going to a mail box. She said she wanted to “make sure I get my vote in that is the most important part.”

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