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Central Coast election officials have last minute voting tips

Central Coast election officials want to make sure voters are prepared for Tuesday’s Midterm Elections.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong recommends taking marked sample ballot to the polls.

“Therefore they can just copy the marks that they made on their sample ballot and be able to get through the process a lot quicker,” he said.

Gong added that those who missed the registration deadline in October 2018 can still cast their vote by showing up to their county election’s office.

“We’ll issue them a ballot…We validate that they are otherwise eligible to vote and that they didn’t vote elsewhere in the state and then we can count their ballots.”

SLO County has election offices in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. Santa Barbara County has offices in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria. These offices are different from polling places.

If you’re voting by mail, Gong recommends going to the post office.

“Request for the postmaster to give a circle date stamp on it.”

Officials also warn voters against wearing certain apparel.

“We ask voters to refrain from wearing campaign buttons, or T-shirts or a cap for instance. Because the polling place is a sanctuary for voters to be able to vote freely and without any hindrance or any intimidation,” gong explained.

This year, however, selfies are allowed.

“Voters can take a picture of themselves with a ballot to show that they voted or they can take a picture of their ballot to show the choices that they made.”

In San Luis Obispo County, more than 170,000 people have registered to vote. In Santa Barbara County, more than 217,000 people have registered.

Lastly, officials suggest heading to the polls during the mid morning and mid afternoon hours, when it’s less likely to see a long line.

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