The DSC is Signing Up Voters on State Street
The DSC’s fall voter registration effort, usually centered on the now-dormant SBCC campus, has shifted focus this time to finding potential voters where they are likely to be. We’ve scheduled a dozen afternoons of tabling on the 600 block of State St., most coinciding with Tuesday Farmers’ Markets and a few Saturdays as well.
James Vallaro (left) and Jim MacMillan make it easy to register near the State St. Farmers’ Market last Tuesday.
With safety and sanitation a major concern, we are following a rigorous protocol, including strict use of facemasks, respect for social distancing, bleach wipes for all surfaces, separate containers for clean and used pens, and a plexiglass shield (so clean it seems to disappear!) between volunteers and registrants.
Our voter reg. specialists Jim and Charlotte MacMillan and a committee made up of Sally Hearon, Leslie Edgerton, and Chris Nelson have put together a schedule of 2-hour shifts, two volunteers per shift, on August 18 & 25, Sept. 1, 5, 8, 22, & 29, and Oct. 3, 6, 10, 13 & 17. Thanks to our amazing group of volunteers who are taking on this crucial job: Jane Carey, Carolyn Chaney, Gail Eison, Jane Fehrenbacher, Mike Hackett, Chandos & Anton Hoffman, Kathy & John Houlihan, Laural Miller, Mahil Senathirajah, Blanche Tobin, Jim Vollaro.
Important Information for Voters
In preparation for our registration outreach, we consulted with the County Elections Office, which under guidance from the California Secretary of State is developing a new model for elections this year as well as outreach strategies.
We found out the following:
Santa Barbara is adopting a hybrid model for voting.
There will be 25 vote centers (polling stations) instead of the usual 86.
- There will be 2 or 3 drive-up vote centers for reduced personal contact.
- Vote centers will be open Saturday Oct. 31 thru Tuesday Nov. 3.
- Everyone will receive an absentee ballot and also be assigned a vote center location.
- If someone shows up at the wrong vote center, they will be encouraged to
go to the correct place, but can also vote a provisional ballot.
- There will be 33 ballot drop boxes distributed across the county. One box planned for every 15,000 people.
- A state task force is requesting all counties put out press releases informing people to re-register if they’ve moved, along with other election information.
- There will be a picture of the ballot in the information guide.
- Elections Office will be contacting students through their college’s websites.