Monday’s mail is still being counted, but as of Saturday, 53,286 people throughout Santa Barbara County have voted in the 2010 general election.

That’s out of a total of 115,155 vote by mail ballots issued by the registrar of voters. “It’s a pretty good rate of return based on past gubernatorial general elections,” said chief deputy registrar of voters Billie Alvarez.

The election’s office is hoping to reach 70 percent participation in this year’s general election, a little bit higher than the historical turnout of about 65 percent in gubernatorial elections every four years.

Alvarez is anticipating about 75,000 of those votes to be cast in vote by mail ballots, as 15,000 to 20,000 people return their ballots to one of the county’s 99 polling locations. Of the county’s 198,556 registered voters, 58 percent are registered for vote by mail. In 2006 just over 50 percent were registered vote by mail.

Results of a large percentage of vote by mail ballots will be posted soon after polls close at 8 p.m. Results from the South County polling locations will start rolling in after that, while North County won’t be available until later in the night. All of the countywide results will be available on the county’s Web site. For statewide races, visit here.


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