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Ahead Of Election Day, Weekend Voting Available

Election Day is fast-approaching. If you want to vote before Tuesday, November 6, there are plenty of ways to cast your ballot, including weekend voting.

This weekend (November 3 and 4), the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s Office will open for extra hours for voting. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

“You can get it done early on the weekend when you have more time than on your typical Tuesday,” Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin says.

Weekend voting will also be available at the Watsonville City Clerk's Office (aka Watsonville Civic Plaza) both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As for Monterey County, its Elections Office in Salinas will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early voting in California begins 29 days before an election. Those who still have their vote-by-mail ballot have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return it. Voters can return it to any polling place or elections office. They can also place it in a drop box where you don’t even have to get out of the car.

So, Pellerin says there’s no excuse not to vote.

“I think voters are very much engaged in this election. They seem very fired up and wanting to participate. I think they really want to make a difference; they understand the connection between voting and their quality of life,” Pellerin says.

She’s hoping Santa Cruz County can beat its voter turnout record for a gubernatorial general. She says that was set back in 1982 when there was a 70.8 percent turnout.  

Celine Rivera, 18, cast her ballot early at the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s Office. It’s her first time voting and now she has a message for other voters.

“Go and prioritize it because it's important and your voice does matter. So you should come out here,” Rivera says.

Rivera voted with her mom, Indiana Rivera.

“It’s an exciting moment for the both of us because as a parent, to leave a legacy of teaching our children to use their voice is super important,” Indiana Rivera says.

For those who missed the October 22 deadline to register to vote, it’s actually not too late. People can register and vote through California’s new Conditional Voter Registration process through Election Night. It’s only offered at each county’s elections offices.   

In Santa Cruz County, that includes the County Clerk’s Office in Santa Cruz and the Watsonville Civic Plaza. Beginning Saturday, it also includes the UCSC Bay Tree Conference Center.

In Monterey County, Conditional Voter Registration, or Same Day Voter Registration, is available at the Monterey County Elections Office in Salinas. There will also be a drop box there.

Santa Cruz County Drop Box Locations:

        701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, in front of the County Government Center

        212 Church Street, Santa Cruz, public parking lot

        1 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley City Hall parking lot

        420 Capitola Avenue, Capitola City Hall parking lot

        316 Rodriguez Street, Watsonville public parking lot 14

        UCSC Quarry Plaza, next to the Bookstore

        Cabrillo College parking lot R near the stadium

        Felton Covered Bridge Park, Mt. Hermon and Graham Hill roads

        Aptos Polo Grounds near the dog park

        County Health Center, 1430 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville

For more information, you can reach Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections Department at 831-454-2060.

You can reach the Monterey County Elections Office at 831-796-1485.

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