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Early voting underway, poll workers needed on Central Coast

Krista Almanzan/KAZU
Elections offices in Monterey and Santa Barbara counties are open for early voting.

Although you still have a month to mull over your choices before Election Day, early voting is underway. It started Monday.

About a dozen voting booths are setup in the lobby at the Monterey County Elections Office in Salinas. They’re ready for Monterey County voters who want to come in and vote before Election Day.

Santa Cruz County voters can vote early at the Elections Office in Santa Cruz or at it’s Satellite Elections Office in Watsonville.

Despite the availability of early voting and that the majority of Monterey County’s 184,755 registered voters vote by mail, Monterey County Registrar Claudio Valenzuela says most don’t send their ballots in early.

“More and more people are waiting until the last minute to send their vote,” says Valenzuela. He says most are mailing their ballots on Election Day or turning them in at polling places.

“We love to see those envelopes returned as soon as possible because we can start processing those envelopes ten days before the election. That really helps on having the results a little faster,” says Valenzuela. Those results will only be public after polls close on Tuesday, November 6th.

For Election Day, Monterey County still needs more than 100 volunteer poll workers. You have to be a citizen or legal permanent resident to work at the polls. Monterey County Assistant Registrar Gina Martinez says the county especially needs bilingual help.

“We need to recruit these people to help serve the community that needs it the most. So if you speak English and Tagalog or English and Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, we want you at our polling places. Please call us today. We have a strong need for those languages,” says Martinez.

You can reach the Monterey County Elections Office at 831-796-1485.

The last day to register to vote in this upcoming election is Monday, October 22nd.

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