Thinking about voting in the June 5 election but forgot to register? Or maybe you moved and forgot to update your address.
Don't worry. For the first time in a California general election, voters who missed the registration deadline can still vote for sheriff or a favorite candidate for governor — thanks to a new conditional voter registration process.
That's because of state legislation that went into effect in 2017.
It's part of what Secretary of State Alex Padilla called, "a simple way we're continuing to expand voting rights and opportunities in California."
All would-be voters need to do is fill out a same-day registration card and cast their ballots on or before Election Day.
Registration has to be done at county elections offices. That's because the offices have the ability to look up potential voter information and be sure a ballot hasn't already been submitted in another county.
It's the first time counties are sharing that information, in hopes of preventing people from voting twice.
San Luis Obispo County clerk-recorder Tommy Gong said his office went through a mock election with other counties to test the system.
To take advantage of the conditional voter registration process and vote, go to one of these offices: County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo (open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2), or in the North County Service Center in the Atascadero Regional Library, 6565 Capistrano Ave. (open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.)
It used to be that if someone forgot to register and still wanted to vote, they had to fill out paperwork and file it with the court; a judge would then review the request and determine whether to honor it. In the 2016 general election, about 200 voters in San Luis Obispo County went that route, Gong said.
Since the voter registration deadline passed on May 21, about a dozen people have gone to the office and done a conditional voter registration, Gong said.
It's one of the many changes that have come to California elections. Some counties are switching entirely to vote-by-mail elections, with voting centers instead of polling places.
In the meantime, more San Luis Obispo County residents are opting to vote by mail.
As of May 25, 166,541 people have registered to vote in San Luis Obispo County. Around 120,000 of those requested to vote by mail — more than 70 percent.
With more people voting earlier, vote-by-mail ballots are already pouring in.
On Wednesday, Gong picked up 5,600 ballots — 14 trays worth — from the post office. His office had received about 29,000 ballots as of Wednesday night.