Two voters voting at voting booths in Ludwick Community Center Gym

Official Election Results Released for the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election

Author: Erin Clausen
Date: 3/27/2024 11:28 AM

The Clerk-Recorder today released the official results and certified the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election.

Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano today certified the results of San Luis Obispo County’s March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election. Certified results can be viewed on the department's website at

Upon certification, San Luis Obispo County's voter participation rate in this election was officially 52.34 percent of registered voters, which was well above the statewide average of 34 percent. Of the 92,526 ballots cast and counted, 94.28 percent of SLO County voters opted to use their vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot and 5.72 percent cast a poll ballot on Election Day.

Not only was local voter participation higher than the statewide average, SLO County’s turnout was higher than counties of comparable size and population, including neighboring Santa Barbara and Monterey, which had turnout of about 42 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

“SLO County voters did a good job turning out for the primary, and we look forward to even more participation in the November General Election,” said Cano. “We are also happy to be able to certify this election more than a week ahead of schedule.”

By law, California counties have 30 days to certify, meaning the deadline is next Thursday, April 4.

State law also dictates several specific steps in the vote canvassing process, including allowing for VBM ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to arrive at the County Elections Office up to seven days later. Additionally, the Elections Office must manually review each VBM voter’s signature – in this case, more than 87,000 signatures – and contact any voter who forgot to sign their envelope or whose signature doesn’t appear to match their record, so that they may “cure” their signature and render the ballot eligible for counting. Staff must also research and confirm the eligibility of every provisional ballot cast. All of this takes time and translates into a bit of a wait for California voters.

“California’s system isn’t quick, but it is accurate, and it ensures that every eligible vote is counted,” said Cano.

Further ensuring accuracy is thorough testing of the County’s tabulation equipment, which includes pre-election testing as well as a required One Percent Manual Tally of election results. Through this process, one percent of poll and VBM ballots are randomly selected to hand count, assuring that all contests are represented, and the hand counts are compared against the machine results. In SLO County, this was conducted March 12 and 13, and results validated the machine count.

“Throughout the canvass, we also had several community observers on hand to witness the process. Those who came in to observe were able to see our work as we did it and ask questions about each step,” according to Cano. She stressed that the counting process is always open to community observers, provided they check in and adhere to the office’s conduct guidelines.

Now that certification of the primary election is complete, the Elections Office will turn its attention to the November 5 General Election. Among several other efforts, Cano plans to hold a candidate information session over the summer; the goal of that event will be to walk participants through the steps and timing of running for elected office in the fall.