Credit: Sydney Ozawa | Mustang News

San Luis Obispo County will have 23 Voting Service Centers for in-person voting between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3, and 19 drop-off locations for mail-in ballots until Nov. 3, according to the County Clerk-Recorder.

At Voting Service Centers, residents can vote in-person, drop off mail-in ballots, receive a replacement mail-in ballot, conditionally register to vote, cast a provisional ballot if the registration deadline has passed and more.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong asked students to register to vote in a campus-wide email. 

“By registering to vote … you will have the opportunity to ‘Flex Your Right’ by weighing your opinion on local, state and federal issues,” Armstrong wrote in the email. “This will impact not only your future but those of other college students in San Luis Obispo, California and nationwide as well.” 

Cal Poly students can vote on campus. Students can drop off mail-in ballots at the 24/7 Ballot Drop Box at Robert E. Kennedy Library until Nov. 3, and can vote in-person in the Performing Arts Center lobby starting Oct. 31.

A mail-in ballot will be delivered to all active registered voters. After sealing and signing mail-in ballots, the County Clerk-Recorder website said voters can drop off their completed ballots at the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, VBM Ballot Drop Boxes, at Voting Service Centers or by mail.

Ballots submitted by mail must be postmarked before or on Election Day, Nov. 3. Mailed ballots will be accepted up to 17 days after Election Day. The United States Postal Service recommends mailing in ballots by Oct. 27 for ballots to arrive by Election Day, according to the County Clerk-Recorder. 

The County of San Luis Obispo encourages voters to use mail-in ballots to limit the spread of COVID-19. Voting Service Centers will implement safety precautions to protect voters and election workers, according to the office of the County Clerk-Recorder. 

If voters choose to vote in person, County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong said he recommends they visit Voting Service Centers during the first three days of voting. It will be safer and there will be fewer people in line, Gong said. 

Gong addressed those who question the security and integrity of mail-in ballots.

“We’ve been doing vote by mail ballots for over 20 years,” Gong said. “Almost 80 percent of voters in San Luis Obispo County used vote by mail ballots during the primaries in March. These numbers illustrate that SLO is ahead of the curve and voters are ready to use mail-in ballots.”

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