SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria veterans are following politics closely, and particularly paying attention to the presidential primary election.
Band of Brothers, a group of veterans fighting vet suicide and depression, met Friday for their opening night of softball season.
Along with gearing up to play great American pastime, many said they are also gearing up for the upcoming election.
Herb Adams, an army veteran, sang the national anthem and played Taps on his french horn ahead of the first game.
"I am fascinated to see what happens with the democratic party, whether they can come up with a strong enough candidate to really challenge Trump," he said.
Other veterans were also strongly interested to see what happens in the democratic primary.
"The democrats, I kind of feel like that's going to be taking one for the team. They're kind of self destructing right now," said Kevin Condon, a marine corps veteran.
"I pretty much figure Trump's got it locked up for republicans," said Condon.
The Secretary of State's office is encouraging people to vote early. They expect very long lines at polling places this election.
The Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder offices said they anticipate many voters are waiting until the last minute with the ongoing primaries.
Santa Barbara has received 54,000 mail ballots so far. That puts them about 5,000 to 6,000 ballots behind where they were at this point in the November 2018 election. They sent out 175,000 mail ballots.
San Luis Obispo County has received 48,000 mail ballots. At 145,000 vote by mail ballots sent, they sent a record number of mail ballots this year.
Both Clerk Recorder offices are encouraging those with vote by mail ballots to send those in to avoid lines at the polls.
Santa Barbara Clerk Recorder Joeseph Holland says it is pretty normal for primary election turnout to be lower than a general election. However, he was expecting a greater turnout at this point in this particular election.