The Nov. 2nd General Election is right around the corner and the deadlines to register are fast approaching. The following is important information you should know before heading to the polls:

In order to register in Santa Barbara, you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of California and at least 18 years of age at the time of the election. Individuals in prison, those who are on parole for the conviction of a felony or those who have been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote are not allowed to register.

Individuals can register in person by completing a voter registration card at any Santa Barbara County Elections Office, DMV office or at many post offices and libraries. Qualified voters can also call (800) 722-8683 to request that a registration card be mailed to their home. You must update your registration and complete a new voter registration card if you have moved, changed your name, changed your party affiliation or would like to update your mailing address to vote in the General Elections.

After registering, the Elections Office will mail a voter notification card to new voters approximately two to three weeks after submitting the registration card.

Voters unable to complete their ballot may bring one or two persons with them into the voting booth for assistance or ask poll workers to provide assistance.

Local measures and candidate information are available on tape for the vision impaired. Voters can call the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic Institute at (805) 681-0531 and the Santa Barbara Braille Institute at (805) 682-6222 for help.

If you are unable to reach your designated polling place, you may vote at the nearest one possible as long as the precinct officer is notified in advance.


Sept. 23 – Oct. 12: Counties mail sample ballots.

Sept. 23 – Oct. 12: All voters who registered by Sept. 3 will have a State Voter Information Guide delivered to their residence.

Oct. 4 – Oct. 26: Registered voters may apply to the county elections official for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Oct. 18: Last day to register for the statewide general elections. Voters must mail, deliver to the county elections official or submit their voter registration form to a designated agency.

Oct. 19 – Oct. 26: Recent or new citizens may register to vote. Registration must occur in the county elections office and all new citizens must provide proof of citizenship.

Oct. 27 – Nov. 1: Voters returning to military service during this time may request a vote-by-mail ballot that may be submitted by facsimile or by e-mail or online transmission if the option is available.

Nov. 2: General Election Day. Voting polls will remain open throughout the state from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How can you get involved?

In addition to registering to vote, county residents can volunteer or work for pay during the elections process.

The Adopt-a-Polling Place Program is a non-partisan public/private partnership sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Elections Office. The program encourages local organizations to support the voting process by allowing employees to staff a polling place on Election Day. All businesses and organizations — regardless of size — can join.

Residents can also sign up to be poll workers if they are available to work on Election Day from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. or until all closing procedures are finished. They need to be registered to vote in California and able to attend a training class.

Paid positions include inspectors, who supervise precinct boards and are paid $190. Inspectors must attend a three-hour training class and pick up supplies. Positions as a clerk are also open for those who would like to work one of the stations at the precinct table. Clerks are paid $120 and an additional $10 for attending a one-hour training class.