The 2020 General Election is shaping up to be a unique election given the public health guidance with COVID-19. To ensure safe voting during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state legislature passed a bill in June 2020 that requires each county to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters to minimize in-person interactions at polling centers. This means that Santa Paula residents have several options for safely and securely casting their vote this election season, and the City is offering additional services to help make voting even more accessible to the Santa Paula community.
Ventura County has sent out vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters and so Santa Paula residents should have already begun receiving their ballots in their mailboxes. Completed vote-by-mail ballots should be signed in the space provided and can be returned by mail or at a designated drop box. The City is also providing a complimentary ballot pick-up service to Santa Paula residents. Designated City Staff members will be available for this service on October 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 27th and November 3rd between the hours of 1pm to 3pm. Residents can request their ballot pick-up by calling 805-933-4226 ext. 350 and, from there, residents will be added to the schedule on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“We are thrilled to be able to pull together and offer ballot pick-up services to our Santa Paula residents,” said Dan Singer, Santa Paula City Manager. “Considering the current health crisis climate, this will enable our seniors and others at higher risk a safe, secure and trusted voting option this election season.”
If residents decide to mail their ballots, the ballots need to be postmarked by Election Day, November 3rd. Ballot return envelopes have pre-paid postage and will be treated as first class mail. Please note that Santa Paula residents may vote and return their ballots as soon as they are received -- there is no need to wait until Election Day. However, once a voted ballot is returned to the County Elections Office, it is considered “in the ballot box” and may not be retrieved or changed. The U.S. Postal Service encourages voters to mail their ballots at least seven days before Election Day. Santa Paula residents may sign up for California’s Where’s My Ballot tracking tool to keep track of their personal ballots.
In partnership with Ventura County, Santa Paula also has a designated ballot drop box which began official ballot collection Tuesday, October 6th. This drop box is locked, secured and located outside of Santa Paula City Hall (970 E Ventura St, Santa Paula, CA 93060). It will be available for ballot collection 24/7 until Election Day, November 3rd, at 8pm. The Santa Paula City Clerk’s office will coordinate with County of Ventura staff, who will stop by and collect the ballots on a daily basis. Each ballot will be counted and logged.
Isbell Middle School (221 South 4th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060) will also be open as a local voter center on October 31st, November 1st and November 2nd from 10am to 6pm, as well as on Election Day, November 3rd, from 7am to 8pm. Residents will be able to drop off their mail-in ballots or vote in person. In-person voting is being offered over a four-day period to help decrease crowds, avoid lines and maintain physical distancing requirements. While at the voting center, each person will be required to wear a face covering and is expected to follow general COVID-19 guidelines. While in-person voting is available, in light of the current public health situation voters are encouraged to instead utilize one of the previously discussed vote-by-mail options.
All Santa Paula residents are encouraged to vote this election season to ensure they have a voice in helping determine the direction of our city, state and nation’s future. More information about the City’s local election, including council candidates, can be accessed by visiting the City’s election information webpage.