All you need to know about ballot preparation, voting options, and important dates for slo county residents

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo County Elections Office is in the final stages of ballot preparation for the March 5 Presidential Primary Election and has announced the following important details and dates:

  • All active registered SLO County voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
  • Vote-by-mail ballots can be returned by mail, ballot drop box, or at either of the County Elections Offices (1055 Monterey Street, SLO and 6565 Capistrano Avenue, Atascadero), or at any polling place on Election Day.

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day, March 5, and received by March 12.

  • Anyone registered as No Party Preference must request a cross-over ballot to vote for a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party, American Independent Party, or Libertarian Party. Otherwise, their ballot will not contain a contest for U.S. President. NPP voters may request a cross-over ballot at
  • Anyone registered as No Party Preference who wants to vote for a presidential candidate from the Republican Party, Green Party, or Peace and Freedom Party must re-register as a member of that party.

By Monday, February 5:

  • The County Elections Office will begin to mail Official Ballots and Voter Information Guides.

On Monday, February 5:

  • Ballot drop box locations open throughout the county.
  • The North County Elections Office opens and will be open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • The San Luis Obispo Main Election Office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Wednesday, February 21 through March 5:

  • Same-day registration is available in person at either County Elections Office location during business hours (and until 8 p.m. on Election Day, March 5).

Tuesday, March 5:

  • Polls will be open throughout SLO County from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Registered voters can elect to vote in person at their precinct.

Voters can track their ballot at any point through Elections updates and results will be available through the Clerk-Recorder’s website at

According to Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano, the primary election is about more than just the presidential contest.

“In addition to the presidential primary contests, there are a number of local offices on the ballot, as well as the two separate contests for California’s next U.S. Senator,” said Cano. “Voters will select the top two candidates for both the remainder of the current term — which is being filled on an interim basis after Senator Feinstein’s passing — and the full six-year term that begins in January 2025.”

The Clerk-Recorder’s Office has posted a detailed explanation of the senate contest, along with other useful fact sheets and answers to voters’ frequently asked questions, at