SLO County elections office: Sample ballots are in the mail

Vote-by-mail goes out during week of Oct. 8, Gong says

COUNTY — On Sept. 27 the San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder Office mailed out sample ballots for all registered voters in the Nov. 6 election with an assigned polling place.

However, explains the County Clerk Tommy Gong, voters with permanent vote-by-mail status and those residing in vote-by-mail precincts will receive their local candidate information along with their vote-by-mail ballot during the week of Oct. 8.

“That’s a point which often confuses people,” he said. “We’ll get asked ‘where’s my sample ballot?’ when the answer is that you’ll get all of the same information with the regular ballot if you’re registered for one.”

The delay between mailings he said is mandated in state law, although he speculates that it’s likely to give extra time for voters to sign up for a mailed ballot.

“Monday, October 8th is the last day to register in order to receive the county sample ballot booklet and state information guide,” his office reminds the public in a press statement, “Anyone registering to vote after October 8th and before the final registration deadline of October 22nd will receive only a postcard notification of their polling place. Voters can now use the state’s online registration system to register to vote which can be accessed at”

There is one more pressing concern he said. While the actual number of sample ballots mailed out is less than 50,000, since roughly 75 percent of county voters are expected to return their “real” ballots by mail, each precinct still needs to be staffed as if they were expecting full turnout.

Largely a volunteer gig, it nevertheless pays, “a little under $100 for the day,” Gong said, noting that the County employs approximately 1,000 precinct workers at the polls on Election Day.

“We had thought we needed more in North County, but it now looks like South County will be the greater need,” he said, adding that civic-minded citizens willing to travel in the County for the day would be appreciated.

Pollworkers must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a registered voter in California or a lawful permanent resident of the United States. While Gong phrases it as helping fulfill civic duty, the pay is better than jury duty.

Aide from appeals to the media, they’ve put the call out to the area’s association for retired county workers, a demographic more used to the requirements of the labor.

Another option which has been done as a fundraiser at North County polling locations in the past, but hasn’t gained traction this year, is the Adopt-a-Polls program.

The program adds a layer of organization though service clubs, church groups, and non-profit organizations in which group members fill pollworker slots as needed for the total allocated stipend, from $448 to $525 for working on Election Day and attending the precinct worker training sessions. For information, complete the pollworker application at or via email at [email protected]

Countywide this year Measure G is on the ballot proposing restrictions on, “fracking” in oil and gas production.

In Atascadero, aside from three City Council candidates for three open slots, two unique measures are an the ballot, E and J, respectively, enact a local cannabis business tax and expand the term of the mayoral slot from two to four years.


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