It’s all systems go as the Santa Barbara City Clerk’s Office gears up for Tuesday’s vote-by-mail City Council election.

As of Friday afternoon, about 12,800 ballots had been received by the City Clerk’s Office out of 45,000 mailed out to registered voters — around 28 percent.

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Noozhawk caught up with City Clerk’s Office services manager Cyndi Rodriguez, who said that despite some ballots missing a voter’s signature verification, the mail-only election has had no major glitches.

“Since we are vote by mail, every envelope has to be signature verified,” she explained. “Some people did mail in without signatures.”

When ballots are received by the city clerk they are run through a signature-verification system, inspected by officials and then separated to ensure the ballots are not bent or folded. Ballots that are bent, folded or don’t have a signature are entered into a database and the voters are contacted by the City Clerk’s Office.

Until Nov. 3, letters were mailed out to notify voters that their ballots were without a signature and that they’ve been placed in a pending file. Since Thursday, Rodriguez said, staffers are now calling voters to ask them to provide their signatures in person at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

On Oct. 10, a total of 45,000 ballots were mailed out to registered voters from the Storke Road postal facility. In this election, voters will be choosing from among 10 candidates running for three open seats on the city council. 
Incumbents are Dale Francisco, Randy Rowse and Michael Self. Challengers are Sebastian Aldana Jr., Sharon Byrne, Cruzito Cruz, Iya Falcone, Jerry Matteo, Cathy Murillo and Deborah Schwartz.

All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“We must have received the ballots by 8 p.m., and we want people to understand we don’t accept postmarks if they come in after this time,” Rodriguez said.

Voters will have the opportunity to hand deliver their ballots to the following drop-off centers from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday:

» City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

» Braille Institute Santa Barbara Regional Center, 2031 De la Vina St.

» Grace Lutheran Church, 3869 State St.

» Pilgrim Terrace Homes, 649 Pilgrim Terrace Drive

» Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Center, 1414 Park Place

Residents with questions about their ballot or the election can call the City Clerk’s Office at 805.564.5309.

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Noozhawk intern Tim Fucci can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.