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Government and Politics

Low Central Coast turnout expected for June Primary

Flickr member Vox Efx

Santa Barbara County Clerk Joe Holland says he is expecting a low voter turnout on Tuesday, June 3 in comparison to November elections.

“When you have a June gubernatorial primary they tend to be on the low side in terms of turnout,” Holland said. “I’m hoping we can exceed 40 percent but it’s probably going to be between 35 and 40 percent turnout for Santa Barbara County.”

There are 194,000 registered voters in Santa Barbara County. Of those, nearly two-out-of-three are vote-by-mail. However, Holland said as of Monday, his office had received only 30 percent of the absentee ballots.

In San Luis Obispo County, more than 150,000 people are registered to vote, with roughly the same percentage as Santa Barbara County voting absentee.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder Julie Rodewald said as of Monday morning, her office had received 33,000 vote-by-mail ballots.

“We’re hoping to get up over 40 percent,” said Rodewald. “I’d love to say over 50 but that’s certainly not what’s being predicted.”

Rodewald says many polling places have changed in San Luis Obispo County so check the list on the back of the sample ballot or look on

For SLO County absentee voters who didn’t mail their ballots in time, people can drop them off in front of the County Clerks office on Monterey Street near the Fremont Theatre before 8 p.m. People can also turn in their vote-by-mail ballots to any polling place.

All campaigning must stop before coming to the polls. It is illegal to do any sort of political campaigning within 100 feet of a precinct. Individuals wearing campaign signs, shirts, or any other propaganda will be asked to take it off, Rodewald said.

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The busiest times of the day are first thing in the morning, during the lunch hour and after 5 p.m. For voters running late but still hoping to cast their ballots, Rodewald said they must be standing in line, inside the polling place at 8 p.m.