Elections

Still need to vote? Here’s your last-minute guide to casting a ballot in SLO County

SLO County’s clerk-recorder explains how to register and vote on Election Day

San Luis Obispo County voters can register on Election Day and then fill out a conditional ballot, Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong explains.
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San Luis Obispo County voters can register on Election Day and then fill out a conditional ballot, Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong explains.

How important is this midterm election to San Luis Obispo County residents? Take a look at some basic numbers.

More people than ever are registered to vote (over 172,500), a record-shattering $8 million has been spent to convince voters to pass or oppose county Measure G, and six cities could get a new mayor.

If you’re planning to vote in Tuesday’s midterm election, here’s everything you need to know.

Step one: Find out if you’re registered to vote via the San Luis Obispo County clerk-recorder’s website at clerk.slocounty.ca.gov/voterstatus.

If you’re not registered, you can still vote on Election Day. Fill out a conditional voter registration card and a provisional ballot at the county clerk-recorder’s San Luis Obispo office, 1055 Monterey St., Suite D120, at the San Luis Obispo Government Center, or at the North County office, 6565 Capistrano Ave. in Atascadero, on the second floor of the Atascadero public library.

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Step two: Do your homework.

You’ve still got time to do your research; polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Here are some of the resources you can use to help inform your decision.

Asking the Tough Questions

This election matters. From local city council races to California’s ballot propositions, The Tribune is committed to providing the best political coverage on the Central Coast.

And after the ballots are counted, our reporters work to hold elected officials accountable and ask the tough questions you need answered.

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Step three: Vote.

In San Luis Obispo County, most people chose to vote by mail. Mail-in ballots need to be postmarked on or before Election Day, or dropped off at any polling place or elections office before 8 p.m.

The county sent more than 130,000 mail-in ballots out of more than 172,500 registered voters. Of those, 59,812 mail-in ballots had been received by Monday afternoon.

If you will cast your vote the old-fashioned way, find your polling place with the help of the Voting Information Project (votinginfoproject.org).

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Remember to leave your campaign buttons, T-shirts and signs at home. Electioneering near a polling place or elections office is illegal.

If your ballot is destroyed in any way, or if you made a mistake while voting, you can get a new provisional ballot at the county elections office.

San Luis Obispo County voters can register on Election Day and then fill out a conditional ballot, Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong explains.

Stop four: Wait for results.

Final results for most races likely won’t be known for weeks, as county staff work to make sure that valid votes are counted accurately.

The first results will be published online on The Tribune’s website at sanluisobispo.com after polling places close Tuesday night. Initial reports will include the results of about 55,000 vote-by-mail ballots received before Monday.

The Tribune anticipates that the second update will be available around midnight. Updated results will be published as they become available in the following days and weeks.

If you still have questions, contact the Clerk-Recorder’s Office at 781-5080 or Monica Vaughan at 781-7930 or mvaughan@thetribunenews.com.

In a press conference, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla explained why it could take weeks to know the final results of the November midterm elections.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930; @MonicaLVaughan
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