Logo from official election mail next to the words Voter Update

Ballots Mailed & Elections Offices Open

Author: Erin Clausen
Date: 2/5/2024 10:35 AM

Ballots have been mailed to all registered SLO County voters, but specific circumstances mean that some voters won't get theirs right away, or they could end up with two. The Clerk-Recorder's Office breaks down why this is the case, and what to do if you have questions.

If it hasn’t already landed in the mailbox, your official ballot for the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election is on its way. Per California Elections Code, the SLO County Clerk-Recorder had until today to send ballots to all registered voters.

Importantly, anyone who re-registered because of a name or address change – or a change in party affiliation – might find that they end up receiving two ballots. This is because Elections Code also stipulates that voter data be submitted to the ballot printer 60 days before an election, which in this case was January 5. Anyone registered at that time was issued a ballot reflecting their registration as of that date. Changes to voter registration since then are reflected in updated voter data that the Clerk-Recorder provides to the ballot printer twice a week between now and February 21. Those updates trigger supplemental ballot mailings.

What should you do if you recently re-registered and end up with two ballots? The Clerk-Recorder recommends destroying the first ballot or bringing it in to the Elections Office in SLO or Atascadero.

“All vote-by-mail ballots include a bar-coded envelope, so once you cast a VBM ballot you will not be able to cast another, even if you’ve been sent two because of a recent change in registration,” said Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano. “If you fall in the camp of recently re-registered voters who receive two ballots, take a second to make sure that you’re voting the ballot you re-registered for.”

Similarly, if you recently registered for the very first time, your ballot may still be on its way. First-time voters who registered between January 6 and today should receive their ballot within the next week.

What if you haven’t yet received a ballot at all? The Elections Office recommends waiting until at least the end of this week to contact them and ask for a replacement. In addition to the impact of recent registration updates, weather and the general process of mail delivery throughout the county mean that ballots won’t hit everyone’s mailbox on exactly the same day.

The California Secretary of State’s Office also offers a useful ballot tracking system that will let you know exactly when your ballot has been mailed; called BallotTrax, this system also tracks a cast ballot and updates you as it moves through the tabulation process and is counted. You can sign up for BallotTrax at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov.

Anyone still needing to register or re-register to vote should do so prior to February 20 if they’d like to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. Registration after that must be done in person at one of the two county Elections Offices or at the polls on Election Day.

The SLO Elections Office is located in the Katcho Achadjian Government Center at 1055 Monterey Street and is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The Atascadero Elections Office is now open through Election Day, March 5, and is located at 6565 Capistrano Ave, on the second floor of the library, and is open 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Both offices will be open until 8:00 pm on Election Day, and the SLO office will be open for early voting on Saturday, March 2, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Questions about voting can be directed to the Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or [email protected], or you can check for answers on our Voter FAQs page.