Mayor Marty Blum

Paul Wellman (file)

Mayor Marty Blum

Mayor Warns of Lost Ballots in Vote-by-Mail Election

Tangled Up In Ads

Mayor Marty Blum sent an email alert last week to voters expecting to participate in the upcoming city election on November 3, which will decide the next mayor, three city council seats, and four city measures. Ballots have been sent out for the city’s first vote-by-mail election, but some ballots destined for apartment complexes may have been misplaced, resulting in their being delivered to wrong addresses, or tossed as junk mail, or both.

Campaign ads looking too much like voting materials are accused of confusing postal workers responsible for sorting the mail. Lane Anderson, a retired letter-carrier from the USPS who is on the ballot for City Council, said it is not unusual, when large amounts of non-preferential mail, like political ads, clog the handling rooms and sorting cases, for first class mail to get buried in the piles. “The solution would be to reform the rules so that political propaganda has to go out as first class,” commented Anderson, adding, “After all it really does not provide a public service. You don’t get objective information that way.”

In this kind of election, the only voting method is mailing back or dropping off the ballots voters receive in the mail-no going to the polls this time. Blum wrote that the issue of misplaced ballots “raises serious concerns that Santa Barbara apartment residents may not have fair access to their ballots.”

Marcelo Lopez, Director of Administrative Services for the City of Santa Barbara, stated that while he was aware of the message circulating from Mayor Blum, reports of misplaced ballots lack details. He has not received the name or address of an apartment complex where such a mix-up took place.

If you are a registered voter and have not received your ballot in the mail, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 564-5309.

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City Of Santa Barbara General Municipal Election Vote By Mail. Only.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Important Notice This is a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Election. There will be NO polling places designated. You must vote the ballot mailed out by the City and return it by mail or in person to one of the Official Drop-Off Centers listed below, using the Return / Identification Envelope provided within the ballot packet.

Be sure to sign your name on the back of the Return Envelope.

VOTE EARLY! Your ballot must be received by 8:00 pm on Election Day, November 3, 2009, to be counted.

See Voting Instructions inside the packet.

Drop-Off Centers If you wish to deliver your ballot rather than mail it, you may do so on Saturday, October 31, 2009, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and [Election Day], Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 7:00 am to 8:00 pm at the following locations.

  • Braille Institute, Auditorium

    2031 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

  • Cleveland School, Multi Purpose Room

    123 Alameda Padre Serra, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

  • Grace Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall

    3869 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

  • Holy Cross Church, Parish Hall

    1740 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

  • Pilgrim Terrace, Activity Center

    649 Pilgrim Terrace Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Fleischmann Auditorium

    2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

  • Santa Barbara City Hall, City Clerk’s Office

    735 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

The City Clerk’s Office drop-off center will be open daily, Monday - Thursday, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Fridays, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (City Hall is closed every other Friday) If you are a registered voter and have not received your ballot in the mail, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 564-5309.

More info:

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