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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 5:44 am | Fair 46º


After All the Hoopla, Election Day Finally Arrives

Santa Barbara County voters will decide a number of races and ballot measures; polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday

[Click here for Noozhawk's complete election coverage.]

After months of campaigning, millions of dollars in political contributions, and a seemingly endless cacophony of ads, TV commercials and letters to the editor, election day is finally here.

Polls in Santa Barbara County will open Tuesday morning, allowing voters to weigh in on this year's midterm elections, which showcase a congressional seat, numerous state and local offices, a host of ballot measures, state propositions and more offices up for grabs.

Balloting will take place from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., and voters can look up their polling place by ZIP code and address by clicking here.

Vote-by-mail ballots were sent out earlier this fall, and those that were not mailed back must be taken to one of the three Santa Barbara County elections offices by 8 p.m. Tuesday in order to be counted.

County Registrar of Voters Joe Holland said his office is setting up a pop-up tent in the parking lot of Santa Barbara Elections Office at 4440-A Calle Real near Santa Barbara so that voters can drive by and drop off their ballots.

Nearly 50,000 ballots that already have been run through counting machines are stored at the County Elections Office near Santa Barbara. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

"Normally we just check and see if there's a signature on the ballot," he said. "The last thing we would want is for it to be hand-delivered like that and not have a signature."

Voters can also take their ballots to the elections office in Santa Maria, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Suite 115, and in Lompoc at 401 E. Cypress St., Room 102, or turn them in at any polling station in the county.

The elections office has received about 52,000 ballots so far, the majority of which have been counted. The results for those ballots will be posted online at 8:05 p.m., after the polls close, he said.

Turnout appears lower than the last midterm election in 2010, Holland said, a decrease of about 10 percent based on the ballots that had come in as of Monday afternoon.

Vote-counting machines stand at the ready Monday at the Santa Barbara County Elections Office. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

"I hope I'm wrong," he said, adding that he hopes Tuesday's numbers will be more promising. 

Voters can also look up the status of their vote-by-mail ballot by clicking here and entering their birth date and a portion of their driver's license or Social Security number.

People who still have questions about Tuesday's election process can contact the County Elections Office at 805.568.2200.

The Elections Office will be periodically updating its results page, which can be viewed by clicking here, as the ballots are counted in the county's 250 precincts.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Dueling signs on Measure P, which would ban fracking and other intensive oil-extraction methods in Santa Barbara, are posted along Calle Real near Santa Barbara. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

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