SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Weeks before seeing a ballot, there are several ways a voter can make their plan to get engaged in the upcoming election.
Questions can be answered. Information is available. Access and "customer service" is a priority with Santa Barbara County elections officials.
Dealing with some concerns now, will eliminate frustration later. That includes registration, double checking mailing addresses, finding voting locations and getting answers about any security issues you may have about your ballot.
It's now 46 days away from the election, but voting will begin prior to that for many people who will vote by mail, or drop off a ballot in person, well before the official election day, November 3.
Information can be found at: Santa Barbara County Elections
or Santa Barbara Registrar of Voters at (805) 568-2200 or re-register online at www.registertovote.ca.gov.
Elections officials say due to the pandemic, all registered voters in the State of California will automatically receive a ballot in the mail around the beginning of October.
If you don't see a ballot by October 12, you are asked to call the elections office.
This year there will be 30 or more secure drop boxes located throughout the county.
County Registrar of Voters Joe Holland stood next to the ballots about to be installed and said, "on October 5th we will unlock these so you can start voting by delivering your ballot directly to one of these boxes and they will be open until November 3rd at 8 o'clock and then we're gonna lock them back up."
Each box weighs 800 pounds. " They're pretty secure. You are not going to be able to move them," said Holland.
Drop boxes will be available 24 hours per day during that period.
A list of all drop box locations in Santa Barbara County will be included with the vote ballot and posted on the website at www.SBCVote.com.
Voters can also us U.S. postal service boxes.
"I think this builds on that confidence. I have great respect for the postal service and I think they do a great job. This just adds on to that security," said Holland. "One of the criticisms of vote by mail is that people wait until election day to deliver their ballots. Then guess what? We don't count those until after election day. Get your ballot in early."
There will be four days of voting leading up to and including election day. Extra poll workers have been sought. "We had 1500 applications to help out at the polls people are interested in democracy and we have seen great interest," said Holland.