Skip to Content

One week until Super Tuesday and many registered voters are taking their time on casting ballots

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – There are many registered voters with ballots collecting dust right now, one week before the California Primary election as part of Super Tuesday.

The Santa Barbara County Elections office sent out about 238,000 ballots in early February. The vote by mail ballots started coming in immediately but the pace has been sluggish. As of Monday morning about 11 percent of the voters have returned their ballots.

Those with ballots can mail them in at a U.S. post office, drop them in to a county elections ballot box in a variety of public places, turn them in on election day to any precinct or turn them in at the elections office.

With vigorous competition in some races and the Presidential primary lacking a full field of battling candidates, the drama in this election is considered to be a factor in a slow return on ballots. That may also impact the results, if some voters do not cast a ballot or presume a candidate has the race sewn up.

Over the weekend the Secretary of State's office said 22 million ballots went out and 7% have been returned.

Some analysts see this trend leaning towards a 30% turnout in the March 5 election.

The Santa Barbara County Election office has offered extensive outreach and assistance to anyone who still needs to register or freshen up their information, such as, a current address or updated signature. All vote by mail ballots have to be sealed in an envelope and signed on the outside in the appropriate area.

If a ballot is not signed or if the signature is not matching what is on file, the elections office will attempt to find that voter and ask them to come into the office for clarification and verification.

Additional staff members have been hired to answer questions and the website has many answers to frequently asked questions.

Each vote by mail ballot has the often sought after "I voted" sticker included. This year it also includes in Spanish "Yo Vote".

At the voting box at the county elections office, voters talked about the process.

Goleta resident Nita King said,  "I wasn't ready to vote early on I had to sort of decide who I wanted to vote for and  what I wanted to vote for.  I took some time to do that ."

For Stephanie Eson the time was right after waiting a few weeks.   "I just left everything in a pile and I thought I better get too it,  all the drama I am sick an tired of it.  I knew who I was going to vote for."

Virginia Quintero said those who are not thinking about the election she says, "they better hurry up."

Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters Michael Daley said, there will be extra hours for the election offices coming up. "We are open Saturday March 2 from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,   open to the public at all  three of our locations Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc to make it easier for people that may  not have the time during the work week."

The elections office is staffed up for in person and on the phone assistance.   "They quickly answered my question and he back to me right away to make sure I had the right answer and so now I am ready to go and vote my ballot," said King.

From a voters who has her ballots in, to those who don't, she shared this family message: "I had grandparents who came to this country in the late 1800's and early 1900's and  one  grandfather in particular voting was so important and that  was just passed on for generations," said Barbara Kuhn. 

Jessielee Ferries said, "get out and vote. It is our right and it is our privilege and  it is very, very important."

Elections workers have been going through training and are prepared for a full day on Tuesday March 5. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. All ballot boxes in the county and U.S. Post Office mailed in ballots will be collected at that time. Anyone in line will still be allowed to vote.

Article Topic Follows: Local Politics
Santa Barbara

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content