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Voter registration underway for returning UC Santa Barbara students, Isla Vista residents

The Santa Barbara Elections Office is assisting anyone who needs assistance for the upcoming General Election. There are many Isla Vista residents still going through registration changes at their new address.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Students who have returned to Isla Vista for their classes at UC Santa Barbara have been encouraged to update their voter registration for the upcoming November 3 election.

School officials have provided information through the Office of Student Life and the Isla Vista Community Services District.

Materials include several links to registration and questions about the upcoming election.

Information can be found at : UCSB Office of Student Life - Elections

In recent years, when students have been on campus, UCSB has had an aggressive outreach for voter registration. The results were impressive. The school was honored as one of the best campuses in the national for voter registration efforts.

This year there are uncertain numbers with many students deciding to study remotely from their parents home or another location outside of the Isla Vista community.

When asked if she talks politics with her friends, UCSB graduate student Alexis Valenzuela said, "yes, definitely we try to keep updated. There's a lot more issues at stake here that people should focus on."

Her friend Michelle Zaw said, "there's just a lot of activism because there's a lot of messed up things going on in the world, like social issues, like political issues,  climate change.  I feel like there's a lot of things you can't ignore anymore."

Isla Vista is one of the more densely populated areas  in California  and normally there would be a lot of door to door and face to face outreach.  Because of COVID, that's not happening this year.  

UC Santa Barbara's Office of Student Life and community leaders are sending out voter information links via email to all the students.
They are also joining in to zoom classes to remind students about making sure their information is current or they could be left out.

Isla Vista Community Services Director Spencer Brandt is working closely on voter registration and outreach.  He says voters can make errors by not having correct election information on file.  "This just punctuates   how important it is for residents to update their address on their voter registration form every time they move addresses," he said.
Some residents will be connected in other ways.

" I'm pretty active on social media," said student Ethan Colin."I see a lot of stuff and that whole thing. "   He says he has been getting election information on a regular basis in his email, and follows it on his social media.

Valenzuela said this is not the time to ignore what's taking place. "Might as well pay attention,  it is affecting us directly."

For students, even though they may not been involved in rallies this year, they see the impact of their vote and what it means to their future.

Brandt said,  "I think the young people in Isla Vista are hungry for a change right now  and that's evident with all the activism we have seen in recent over the last number of months."

There is a likelihood of an Isla Vista resident moving and not receiving their election materials. Their registration would have to be updated.

For someone getting election mail that is not for their address or name, they can return it to the post office of fill out this form online, Santa Barbara County Elections - Wrong Address.

Local Politics / Politics / Santa Barbara- S County

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.


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