San Luis Obispo County supervisors return back to traditional voting

May 6, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 during a contentious hearing on Tuesday to return to return to pre-pandemic voting procedures with traditional polling stations and distribution of mail-in ballots upon request.

In 2020, all registered voters automatically received mail-in ballots. Voters could also cast ballots at a limited number of voting centers, which remained open over the span of days, rather than just on Election Day.

Following hours of public comment and deliberation, the board of supervisor voted in favor of a return to individual polling places for neighborhood precincts and elections officials only sending voters mail-in ballots upon request. SLO County is expected to have approximately 76 polling places in the next election.

Supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and John Peschong voted for the return to traditional voting procedures, while supervisors Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg cast the dissenting votes.

Conservatives have argued the 2020 election system creates the potential for fraud, something County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong denies. Conservatives have also argued last year’s voting system makes it more difficult for the elderly to vote, while liberals say it allows more voters to cast ballots.

The county is expected to save about $30,000 by not sending mail-in ballots to all voters. The voting system changes could come into play as soon as late this year if a California gubernatorial recall election occurs.


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Jorge Estrada

We certainly must make an effort to keep all elections above reproach by resisting automation.


obispan

I was taking Cal Poly exams on scan-tron forms in 1980 and voting on them in 2018. What precipitated the need to spend a s**tload of money to change to the very-opaque Dominion system? Probably just their salesmen combined with the County having too much money to waste.


Slosum

There is a distinction between requesting an absentee ballot and having them sent out willy nilly to every household without some assurance they are going to documented voters. The only secure way to conduct an election is with legal voter credentials, preferably in person.


commonsenseguy

Nice! Great news. Lets have sensibility return to the election process. I’ve voted absentee for the last 15 years and love it. It’s available for all. That includes veterans, seniors, minorities, disabled, and those of any religion or creed. Absentee voting IS mail in voting. You must have proof of residence and verified signature. There are multiple ways to cast you votes and plenty of time to do it. Register now for your absentee ballot so you can be ready to recall the hapless Newsom.


kevin rise

Request your mail in ballots folks, saves time and is safe, our last election was the safest in history regardless of what psychopaths say. 30 grand, pennies. Mail in ballots proved to have record turn out historically making it easier for our Seniors, minority communities and Disabled to vote, and suppression of that is, Voter Supression. Shame on a tone suppressing voting. Claiming Fraud is a crime against humanity in Americas case. If you hate Veterans, Disabled, and the elderly, underserved communities in the Bible Belt, do away with mail in voting.


kayaknut

Do away with mail in voting = hating Veterans?????? By the way mail in voting is not going away.


derasmus

Mail in voting good, when a ballot is requested, not mass mailings based on inaccurate voter roles.


ctakier

I fail to see how requiring a request for a mail-in ballot would be considered suppression if it is a well known function of the voting system. Personally, I have requested a mail in ballot for years and each time voting comes around, I receive a verification card to ensure that I am still at my home of residence.


Now if we went through the exercise to actually clean up the voter rolls, this would be a significantly smaller issue, but as things stand right now, the voter rolls are not accurate which is a problem when it comes to confidence in voting. I would even say that mail in would be fine if it were something where you were required to register for each election, but again, that is not the way that elections are currently done.


Either way, to claim that requiring someone to request a ballot as voter suppression is irresponsible and untrue.


fat chance

Are you serious? Safest election in our history…LOL


rucereal

Rest assured …. “sending voters mail-in ballots upon request..” mail in voting has not been taken away.


derasmus

You want to vote by mail (absentee) ? Register to vote, show ID, and request a ballot sent to your home. . So simple.


Messkit

This Veteran has been voting absentee for 40 years, with zero problems being overseas or stateside.


It’s as if, you don’t think 4 years is enough time to get legally registered to vote?