SLO County Clerk-Recorder Voting Tips for Nov. 3 Presidential General Election 

Return of Vote By Mail Ballots 

Make sure the identification envelope is signed before you return the ballot. Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received within seventeen days of the election are eligible to be counted. If you are dropping your VBM ballot in the mail on Election Day, get a “Circle Date Stamp” on your envelope at the mail counter. However, vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered at any of 23 Voter Service Centers in the county, at the 19 VBM ballot drop boxes located throughout the county, or at the County Clerk-Recorder’s offices in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero must be RECEIVED by 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Drive-by-Dropoff of VBM ballots is available at all Voter Service Centers throughout the County. If you want to vote at the polls instead of voting by mail, take the ballot with you to surrender, but if you have misplaced your ballot, new legislation allows VBM voters to vote a regular poll ballot if it is determined that their ballots were not returned. At a minimum, VBM voters will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot at the Voter Service Centers. 

Voter Service Centers Open for Four Days of Voting 

There are 23 Voter Service Centers that be open from Saturday, Oct. 31- Monday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Nov. 3 Election Day from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Many locations that had been used as polling places in the past are not being used for this election. Please note that voters can go to any Voter Service Center located throughout the County instead of assigned polling places.   

A listing of Voter Service Centers and VBM Ballot Drop Boxes is located here.  

And interactively here.  

Please note that the address of the Paso Robles Culinary Arts Building was printed in error in the Voting Instructions sent with VBM Ballots, but corrections were made in all subsequent directions and Voter Service Center listings since mid-September. 

The correct address is: 

Paso Robles Culinary Arts Building 

1900 Golden Hill Road 

Paso Robles 

A staffed VBM Ballot DropBox will be located at the incorrect address location (Masonic Lodge) to receive voted VBM Ballots or direct voters to the closest Voter Service Center. 

If you need assistance in locating a Voter Service Center, call the Elections office at (805)781-5228. We will have additional phone lines open on during the four days of voting during hours of operations. 

Conditional Voter Registration and Party Changes 

Recent legislation has extended Conditional Voter Registration (aka Same Day Registration) at the polling place on Election Day for those voters who missed the deadline to register. These voters will be required to vote a provisional ballot in which their eligibility will be determined during the canvass period. Also, very recent urgency legislation allows for voters to complete residence address change form, which then allows them to vote a regular poll ballot. 

Accessible Voting Equipment and Spanish Language 

The new accessible ballot-marking devices purchased during the March Primary is designed to assist voters with disabilities to vote independently and confidentially. However, any voter can utilize the machines if they desire. Furthermore, these devices were also equipped with a Spanish language ballot for voters desiring to vote in Spanish. Request to use these machines at the ballot issue table at the Voter Service Center. 

Be Prepared (Premark a Sample Ballot)  

It is helpful if you mark a sample ballot and take it with you to the Voter Service Centers during the four days of voting, so when you enter the booth, you can more easily make your choices on the official ballot. For a copy of a Sample Ballot click here.  

 1.  To locate your ballot type, look at the top left corner of your VBM Ballot for your ballot type number (i.e., BT1, BT2, etc.) 

2.  You can then print the sample ballot and mark it before your final voting on your VBM ballot, the bring it with you to the Voter Service Center. 

3.  If you need assistance in determining your Ballot Type, please contact the Election Office at 805-781-5228 for assistance.  

Leave T-Shirts, Buttons and Hats at Home

Electioneering, including wearing anything with a campaign slogan on it, is prohibited within 100 feet of the polling place while the polls are open on Election Day. 

Anyone wearing such campaign slogans will be asked to remove or cover them while they are in the polling place. 

Please help our poll workers by respecting the non-partisan nature of the polling place.       

Avoid Lines on Election Day 

If you visit a Voter Service Center in person, go before Election Day during the first three days of voting to help maintain physical distancing and avoid lines.  

If you have a choice of time to vote, avoid the busiest time of the day: before work (7 to 9 a.m.); during lunch hour (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and after work (5 p.m.to 8 pm) 

Follow Safety Procedures 

Protect your health and the health of other voters and election workers at voting locations by taking the following precautions:  

Voting Location Safety Checklist  

  • Wear a face covering while at the voting location. 
  • Keep 2 arms’ length distance from other people. 
  • Use hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving a Voter Service Center. 
  • Bring your own ballpoint pen to avoid touching high-contact surfaces. 

Any person with additional questions may contact the County Clerk-Recorder, Elections Division at (805)781-5228 or elections@co.slo.ca.us. 

Getting through this together, Atascadero