Blue Box ready to take mail-in ballots
Make sure your vote is counted!
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: October 24, 2012
The most popular pre-Election Day stop is probably City Hall’s Blue Box, now ready to take vote-by-mail ballots for the November 6 Presidential Election.
The chain wearing metal box is itself secure, but it has moved from City Hall location to City Hall location from election to election.
For the June Primary Election the Blue Box was in the lobby of City Hall, right inside the entrance doors. Now, “It will be back where the City Clerk’s desk is” in the administration offices because, said Deputy City Clerk Lucy Blanco, “I think they felt it was safer back there.”
Already the Blue Box has become a popular stop for voters who would rather drop off their mail-in ballots well in advance of the November 6 election.
The box arrived at City Hall the second week of October, and Blanco said quite a few voters have already been coming to City Hall to drop off their ballots. “I’m pleased people are using it,” she noted. “It’s a good thing to have available.”
Those dropping off their mail-in ballots will first have to be buzzed past City Hall’s customer service front counter to enter the inner sanctum of the administration offices where the Blue Box, secured with chains, is located. The Blue Box will be available to accept ballots Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on those Fridays that City Hall is not closed due to employee furlough days.
Voters should check with the city if they plan to kick off their weekend by casting their ballots. Elections Division personnel regularly empty the Blue Box and take the ballots to the Ventura County government center.
Using the Blue Box for vote-by-mail ballots is smart: people can save the postage required and make sure their vote is counted. Vote-by-mail ballots must be mailed at least one full week in advance of Election Day to ensure delivery to the Ventura County Elections Division by 8 p.m. on November 6, when the polls officially close. No matter how far in advance a ballot envelope is postmarked by the Post Office, if the Elections Division does not receive the ballot by the 8 p.m. Election Day deadline it will not be counted.
As of April 13, 2012, Santa Paula’s voter registration was 10,917, and 4,287 were permanent vote-by-mail while 6,596 were registered to vote at the polls. Registration for the November 6 election, which includes candidates for local offices, closed October 22.
City Hall is located at 970 E. Ventura Street. For more information call Blanco at 933-4208.