Mail ballots incorrectly returned in Santa Barbara CA

This came in across the email wire and was forwarded to me. If anyone else has reports of ballots that were incorrectly directed by post offices in CA, please email me at paul.gronke at

I’ve run into a problem with the mail-in ballot situation in Santa Barbara County, CA. I live in the northern part of the county. I mailed in my primary mail-in ballot on Friday, February 1 at 4:30 pm. On Saturday February 2, it was in my own mailbox, having been cancelled and returned from a 100 mile roundtrip to Santa Barbara. So I tried to take it into the Solvang, CA post office, but it was closed. They had changed their hours and the last pick-up had been at 1:30 pm.

Today, February 5, I stopped by the Solvang Post Ofice and asked why my ballot had been returned. I was told by the clerk that this had happened to a number of people. When I asked how it could happen, I received a lengthy explanation. Apparently the large green envelopes which have the printed name and address of the County Registrar on one side, has the voter’s name and address printed on the reverse side and a bar code is on that side. That side is then scanned and that is how it returns to the voter.

If anyone sent their ballot in after Friday, it is highly unlikely they would have it in on time to be counted. Postmarks don’t count. So I took my ballot in to a polling place. I hope others did the same. But there may very well be other ballots that will be in limbo and uncounted, if they never reached the County Registrar of Voters.