General Election 2020 Voting Resources

Find Out Where You Can Cast Your Ballot in Santa Barbara County and Make Sure Your Vote Is Counted

Credit: Annie Bolin/Unsplashed

As of Monday, October 5, county voters can avail themselves of one of 30 drop-off boxes throughout the county where they can personally hand-deliver their ballots. Those drop-off boxes will be available through November 3, and their locations are mapped below and listed on the county’s website here

County Elections will also open 35 sites where voters can cast their ballots the old-fashioned way. These voting centers will be open October 31-November 3. These polling places can be found here.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to vote. Below are some resources to ensure your voting goes smoothly and safely and that your vote is counted.

Important Deadlines and Dates

Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Election Day  

Saturday, October 31 – Monday, November 2: Early In-Person Voting at Polling Places and Registrar’s Office

Monday, October 5, 2020: Start of Early In-Person Voting at Registrar’s Office

Monday, October 19, 2020: Close of Registration

October 20, 2020 – November 3, 2020: Conditional Voter Registration

Quick Links

Santa Barbara County Elections Division ― Register to vote, check voter status, become a poll worker, etc. 

Sample Ballot and Polling Place Lookup ― Find your polling location by home address (if you’re voting in person rather than returning your completed ballot at a drop-off box) — The Secretary of State’s tracking tool for looking up where your ballot is in the process of being counted. You can sign up to receive alerts by email, text (SMS), or voice call.

Santa Barbara Independent Endorsements — From president to props, these are our picks for the November 3 general election.

Ways to Vote

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, every registered voter in California will receive a ballot in the mail for the upcoming election.

1) Ballot Drop-Off Boxes 

Drop-off boxes are available 24 hours a day from October 5 to November 3 at 8 p.m. Ballots are collected from these boxes by County Elections Staff. These locations are subject to change. Check for final ballot drop-off box location information. 

Use the map below to find a ballot drop-off box location near you:

2) Vote Early by Mail

California Secretary of State’s Tips for Vote-by-Mail Voters

  • If you’re not sure of your registration status, visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Status tool at:
  • Every vote-by-mail ballot comes with a first-class prepaid postage return envelope.
  • You can drop off your ballot at any polling place, vote center, or your county elections office, through Election Day.
  • Before returning your ballot, you must remember to sign and date the return envelope provided with your vote-by-mail ballot.
  • Ballots that are returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by county elections officials no later than 17 days after the election.

Vote-by-Mail Security:

  • The vendors who print ballots for California elections must be certified by the Secretary of State.
  • Vote-by-mail ballots have specific paper types and watermarks.
  • Every vote-by-mail ballot return envelope has a unique bar code that elections officials scan. Ballots cannot be returned in a different envelope. 
  • Vote-by-mail ballots cannot be forwarded by the USPS.
  • California county elections officials check each and every vote-by-mail ballot that is cast.
  • Elections officials check to see if the voter has already cast a ballot elsewhere.
  • A voter’s signature on the vote-by-mail ballot return envelope is compared against the voter’s registration record. If a signature is missing or does not match the registration record, elections officials will reach out to the voter. If the voter does not respond and provide a missing/corrected signature, the ballot will not count.

3) Vote Early in Person at Registrar of Voters Office 

At the Registrars office beginning October 5, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

4) Vote Early in Person at Assigned Polling Place

At your assigned polling place or the Registrars office Saturday, October 31-Monday, November 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

5) Vote in Person on Election Day

All will again be open on Election Day, November 3, when the voting hours change to 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Conditional Voter Ballot 

Eligible citizens who miss a voter registration deadline still have the option to participate. Under California Election Law, Conditional Voter Registration (CVR) allows a prospective voter to register through Election Day and cast a ballot.

Conditional Voter Registration must be completed in person at a designated elections office location (see below).


1) If a prospective voter misses a registration deadline, they have the option to vote by visiting the designated elections office location(s) and completing a CVR application and voter registration.

2) After completing the CVR application and voter registration, the voter will be issued a ballot.

3) Once the CVR application and voter registration are verified, the registration will become active. If the voter is eligible to vote in the election and has cast no other ballots, the ballot will be counted. The voter may then vote in any future election in which they are eligible to participate.

Conditional Voter Registration Locations:

Santa Barbara: 4440-A Calle Real 

Santa Maria: 511 E. Lakeside Parkway 

Lompoc: 401 E. Cypress St.

Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail System

The Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail (RAVBM) System will offer military and overseas voters and voters with disabilities a secure method to receive their ballot electronically.  The voter can then mark, download, and print their ballot and return their ballot to the elections official.  For privacy and security reasons, the RAVBM system does not store or transmit votes over the internet. More at:

Voter Assistance (Large Font Materials and Tape Recordings):

Report Election Fraud or Abuses

Federal law prohibits crimes such as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters, and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them.

Allegations of election fraud and other election abuses can be reported to the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice. In the case of a crime of violence or intimidation, call 9-1-1 immediately and before contacting federal authorities.

FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office: (310) 477-6565

U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division: (800) 253-3931 or TTY (202) 305-0082;;

SOURCES:, California Secretary of State, and U.S. Department of Justice

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