Young, Old, First Timers, Veterans: Come Make Your Vote Count

Santa Barbara Voters of All Demographics on Why Voting This Election Is Crucial

Grace Slanski casts her vote at the polling station on Carrillo downtown Santa Barbara. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

The votes are pouring in this Election Day, with 3,000 Santa Barbara County ballots cast as of 11 a.m. Tuesday and 10,000 overall through this past weekend. Voting is always important, but this year, getting to the polls is even more urgent.

“Both of my parents are writers and have been into politics and written for publications like the New Yorker,” said Grace Slansky, a voter outside of the Carrillo Recreation Center polling place. “So they would have literally killed me if I didn’t vote.

“I also brought my boyfriend, who has been in the military and hasn’t voted in years,” she said.

Slansky, in her twenties, was one of many young people who were out encouraging their friends and loved ones to vote this election. Typically one of the toughest age groups to motivate to vote, the younger demographic seems to be coming out in full force in 2020, according to other voters at the polls.

“I think there’s a bigger sense of urgency because Donald Trump is our president,” said another voter who asked to remain anonymous. “I have two kids, both in their early twenties, and they are more engaged than I am. They constantly ask me, ‘Mom, did you vote yet?’

“Young people definitely seem more involved lately; Black Lives Matter was powered by them. They have something to say.”

Both women reported that during the pandemic, voting is actually a faster experience that in years past. Going inside, all voters are required to wear masks and socially distance. The voting booths themselves are distanced apart and are regularly disinfected.

To see a list of all county polling locations, click here.


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