There is no need to wait until Election Day to cast your vote. The Nov. 6 General Election started Monday, Oct. 8.

Voters who want to vote early or will be away from their polling place on Election Day can go to one of the Santa Barbara County Elections Offices listed below to obtain a ballot.

Those who vote by mail can expect to receive their ballot soon as more than 145,000 Vote-by-Mail ballots will be delivered to the post office Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Voters are urged to read their County Voter Information Guide already sent by the County Elections Office and available online at http://www.sbcvote.com/ and the State Voter Information Guide sent by the Secretary of State’s Office and available online at http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/.

Those guides allow voters to learn more about the races, candidates, state propositions and local measures on the ballot.

Voters in Santa Maria and Lompoc will experience district-based elections for their City Council districts; therefore, not all City Council districts will appear on the ballot.

Registered voters of city of Santa Maria City Council Districts 3 or 4, or Lompoc City Council Districts 2 or 3, will see a City Council contest on their ballot. All other council districts in these two cities will be on the ballot in 2020.

Vote-by-Mail ballots must be received in the County Elections Office or at a polling place within California by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6.

If returning a ballot by mail, the ballot must be received by Election Day or postmarked on or by Nov. 6, and received by the County Elections Office by Nov. 9.

Vote-by-Mail ballots may also be returned to one of the County Elections Offices listed below or at a 24-hour drive-up drop box location through 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

Office locations and hours:

» Santa Barbara: 4440-A Calle Real
Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
(24-hour drive-up drop box in parking lot exit)   

» Lompoc: 401 E. Cypress Ave., room 102
Open 9 a.m.- noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
(24-hour drive-up drop box at 100 Civic Center Plaza)

» Santa Maria: 511 E. Lakeside Parkway, ste. 134
Open 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
(24-hour drive-up drop box in parking lot exit)

To confirm vote-by-mail status or voter registration status, contact the County Elections Office toll free at 800-SBC-VOTE or visit the Secretary of State website, https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

Deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 22.

If a voter has moved or changed their name, they must reregister. Voters can register online at https://registertovote.ca.gov/ or obtain a Voter Registration Card from the County Registrar of Voters, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or most post offices and public libraries.

Santa Barbara County has a number of tools available to assist voters:

» The AutoMARKballot marking system is at three offices beginning Oct. 8 and at every polling location in the county on Election Day.

The AutoMARK is especially helpful for voters who are blind, have limited sight, or a disability or condition that makes it difficult to traditionally mark a ballot without assistance.

AutoMARK is easy to use and has a Braille keypad, increased font size, and audio options.

» Accessible Voter Information Guides and sample ballots are available at www.sbcvote.com in English and Spanish. Language Assistance and ballot facsimiles are also offered in Chinese, Korean and Tagalog in certain precincts.

For more information, visit: http://sbcvote.com/elections/languageassistanceinfo.aspx.

» Audio recordings and large font copies of the State Voter Information Guide and the County Voter Information Guide are available by calling 800-SBC-VOTE.

» Accessible voting booths are available at all polling locations for voters in wheelchairs or those needing to sit while voting.

» The Independent Living Resource Center is available to assist voters at 805-963-0595.

For information on accessible voting, contact the Elections Office, 800-SBC-VOTE, or visit the Registrar of Voters’ website, www.sbcvote.com.

— County of Santa Barbara.