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Government and Politics

Voter registration hits record highs in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties

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Randol White/KCBX News
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Voter registration in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties is at an all-time high. 

Elections officials at all three counties told KCBX today that voter registrations have swelled in the past few months. They're expecting those numbers to increase even further as the registration deadline approaches.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong said that an additional 2000 voters have registered this year in that county.

 
“We’ve broken the record weeks ago," Gong said. "The most we’ve ever had in terms of number of registered voters was in 2004.” 

According to numbers published last month by the California Secretary of State, three out of four eligible voters in San Luis Obispo County are registered. That's because next Monday is the deadline to register to vote in California. People new to the county who plan on casting a ballot in November’s election must register online or by mail.

Gong said the online method of registering allows for a bit more time.

“The drop dead deadline, if they are going to register online, will be 11:59 on Oct. 24," Gong said. "So it cuts it off at midnight on the 25th.”

 In Santa Barbara county, the number of registered voters is now at slightly over 217,000, says Clerk-Recorder Joe Holland. His county’s three elections offices -- in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara -- will be open until 8 in the evening on Monday to accommodate last minute registrants.

Monterey County Outreach Program Manager Greta Arevalo said there are now roughly 20,000 more voters are on the rolls now than for the 2012 presidential election.

“Definitely there is a lot of interest community members to register to vote,” Arevalo said. 

Mail in registration forms need to be post-marked by 5:00 Monday evening. Voter registration applications can be found at city halls, public libraries, post offices and government offices.