The voter registration deadline on Tuesday marked the end of various registration efforts in preparation for the March 2 primary elections.
As of Tuesday, there are 15,114 voters registered in Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office. Of those, 40.3 percent registered as Democrats and 34.4 percent registered as Republicans. Santa Barbara County as a whole has 187,200 registered voters, of which 39.5 percent declared themselves Democrats and 37.4 percent are registered Republicans.
College Republicans Chair Logan Pribbeno said the recall effort against 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, which failed in the November 2002 election, made the voter registration drive an easy task for his organization.
“There weren’t that many active Republicans that were out there that weren’t already registered. [The recall election] was enough to motivate the entire Republican base,” Pribbeno said.
Pribbeno said the College Republicans focused on the dorms during the registration drive because freshmen are usually unsure of their political beliefs.
“The freshmen come to UCSB and wonder if there are any conservative people on this campus. The people on this campus are slightly to the left,” Pribenno said. “Many freshmen wonder where the right is. [Voter registration] is a great motivating time for people to know that we exist and that they should join us.”
Campus Democrats President Marissa Brown said she agrees with Pribbeno that UCSB is traditionally a left-leaning campus.
“I think that most of the people on campus have liberal tendencies, but there are definite conservatives,” Brown said.
The Campus Democrats went door to door to ask students if they had registered, made in-class announcements and set up a voter registration table in front of the UCen. Brown said the key to registering the most students was to make announcements about registration in the biggest classes possible, like those in Campbell Hall and Isla Vista Theater.
“You have to bring voter registration to the students,” Brown said. “People don’t understand that you have to re-register all the time.”
The Office of Student Life and Associated Students also set up registration tables in front of the UCen. Campaign staff for 3rd District supervisor candidates John Buttny and Brooks Firestone also helped register voters.
Barbara Ortiz, director of the Office of Student Life, said there are many variables to consider during the voter registration process in I.V.
“Voter registration is tough because most of the student body changes location every year, many switch from voting in their hometown to voting here in Santa Barbara and many decline to state what party they are and must re-register in time for primary elections,” Ortiz said.