Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 4:20 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

Santa Barbara Sees Steady Flow of Mail-In Ballots

More than 8,200 Santa Barbara residents already have voted in the mayor and City Council races by sending in their mail-in ballots ahead of next Tuesday’s election deadline.

With one week remaining, the Santa Barbara City Clerk’s Office has already processed 8,242 ballots for the city election, with more arriving every day, according to Gwen Peirce, the City Clerk’s services manager.

Ballots for the vote-by-mail-only election were sent out earlier this month in an effort to boost voter turnout and save on election costs. They must be received by 8 p.m. next Tuesday; postmarks don’t count.

Peirce said ballot processing has gone smoothly so far — “knock on wood” — and noted that the number of turned-in ballots is in line with past elections at this time.

She said staff members have had to reissue nearly 20 ballots because some packets were mistakenly sent out without a way to mark a vote.

“We’ve just had a few people call and say they didn’t have a ballot in their packet,” Peirce said. “It’s something that happens every year. We haven’t really had any problems otherwise.”

In addition to the mayoral and City Council races, the mail-in ballot includes one measure to adjust the lot line between MacKenzie Park and the Fremont Hall Army Reserve Center building, which city officials have said is an overdue technicality.

Peirce said she couldn’t guess how many of the city’s more than 45,800 registered voters would turn out this year.

“It’s hard to say what people are going to do,” she said.

Prepaid envelopes come with every ballot, and voters can also drop them off at City Hall anytime during business hours or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. City Hall and the designated drop-off locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Drop-off spots for Election Day will be the City Hall lobby at 735 Anacapa St.; Calvary Baptist Church's Sizer Hall at 736 W. Islay St.; the Franklin Neighborhood Center at 1136 E. Montecito St.; and Grace Lutheran Church at 3869 State St.

The November ballot includes two candidates for mayor and 10 others after three City Council seats.

Mayor Helene Schneider is running for re-election against challenger Wayne Scoles.

Councilmen Frank Hotchkiss and Bendy White are running for re-election, and eight others are fighting for one of the three seats: Megan Diaz Alley, Gregg Hart, Cruzito Herrera Cruz, Michael Jordan, Matthew Kramer, David Landecker, Jason Nelson and Lesley Wiscomb.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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.

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