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Santa Cruz County takes voting on the road with new VoteMobile

votemobile santa cruz county
Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) An all new way of voting in Santa Cruz County kicked off Monday. A voting trailer made its first stops Monday in Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

Ballots have already been mailed in Santa Cruz County, but VoteMobile will allow residents to get a replacement ballot and vote there or take it to go, drop off a completed ballot, vote using an accessible ballot on a tablet, access a Spanish ballot, register to vote or get other voter services.

“Bringing voting directly to the voters has always been a dream of mine,” said County Clerk Gail Pellerin, “Thanks to some grant funds we received this year, that dream has come true.”

The so called "Vote Mobile" was staged in the Lighthouse Point parking lot Monday morning. Lots of people stopped by after spotting the big colorful trailer.

“I was driving home along the ocean, and I saw that I could vote in-person, and I made a U turn and I voted,” Live Oak resident Linda Kishlansky said.

The mobile voting was designed to give voters another easy way to cast their ballot.

“It's always something I wanted, and then the pandemic hit and I thought we really need to have some flexibility," Pellerin said. "Then the fires hit and I said we really need to have some flexibility where we can go where the need is greatest.”

The voting trailer will make stops at shelters, apartment complexes, and farmers markets across the county almost every day leading up to November 3rd.

The last day to register to vote to receive a ballot in the mail is October 18, but up until election day you can register and vote in-person the same day.

PREVIOUS STORY: Santa Cruz County Elections will be bringing a mobile voting unit to communities around the area starting Monday.

Ballots have already been mailed in Santa Cruz County, but VoteMobile will allow residents to get a replacement ballot and vote there or take it to go, drop off a completed ballot, vote using an accessible ballot on a tablet, access a Spanish ballot, register to vote or get other voter services.

“Bringing voting directly to the voters has always been a dream of mine,” said County Clerk Gail Pellerin, “Thanks to some grant funds we received this year, that dream has come true.”

Pellerin said VoteMobile is especially useful now as they try to serve voters displaced by wildfires or bring voting to neighborhoods that will not have a traditional polling place due to the pandemic.

On Monday, the trailer will be parked at Lighthouse Point Park on West Cliff Drive from 9 a.m. to noon before heading to Watsonville City Plaza Park where it will be from 2 to 5 p.m.

Officials said VoteMobile will be heading to farmers markets, senior housing facilities, Davenport, the Summit and other parts of the county. A schedule will be posted on the County Elections website on Monday.

The department said the county now has a record 168,000 registered voters, and the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 19.

Elections / Local Politics / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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