The June 5 primary clearly showed how San Luis Obispo County voters strongly prefer voting by mail over casting ballots at a polling place.
According to county Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald, more people voted by mail in the county than went to a polling place — 51,973, or 72.6 percent, compared with 19,592, or 27.4 percent.
Rodewald said the voter turnout for San Luis Obispo County was 48.6 percent, higher than the statewide average, which was slightly more than 30 percent.
In breaking down final numbers, Rodewald certified the election, which showed strong victories in the two contested supervisory elections.
In District 5, Debbie Arnold defeated incumbent Jim Patterson, and Supervisor Adam Hill of the 3rd District topped Ed Waage. The re-election of Frank Mecham, who was unopposed, also is official.
According to the numbers, which are available at the clerk-recorder’s website, Arnold had 7,802 votes, and Patterson had 5,920. The margin was 57 percent to 43 percent.
In the 3rd District, Hill had 7,994 votes to Waage’s 5,720. The margin was 58 percent to 42 percent.
Hill, Arnold and Mecham will not be sworn in to their new terms until January.
The final results also show Jamie Irons winning handily in the race for Morro Bay mayor, with more than 53 percent of the vote. He was followed by Carla Borchard, Bill Yates and Joe Yukich.
For the two Morro Bay City Council seats, Noah Smukler had 2,558 votes, and Christine Johnson had 2,198. Trailing were Joan Solu with 1,176 and Jim Hayes with 907.
In Arroyo Grande, a vote for bonds for a new police station, which needed a two-thirds margin, received 61 percent and thus failed. The bond received 3,299 votes in favor and 2,140 against.
Rodewald said her office continues to work with the California Secretary of State’s Office to determine how 900 new voter registration cards collected at Cal Poly and Cuesta College ended up being held past the deadline to turn them in.
“It does not appear that any local groups or campaigns were involved, but both the late date that they turned them in and any alteration of the party registration of the voter’s choice are violations of the elections code,” Rodewald wrote The Tribune in an email.
“We will be following up with these voters to ensure they are registered with the party of their choice,” she added.