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Many paths to voting, including new drive-through drop box

Department of Elections installs drive-through drop box for early voters
Joe Paul Gonzalez said that because of 17 statewide propositions on the ballot, voters should fill out their sample ballot before coming to the polls to save time.

California is one of 27 states in which citizens can get ahead of the lines for the Nov. 8 election. In Hollister, Joe Paul Gonzalez, clerk-auditor-recorder, and his staff are pulling out all stops to make it easier to vote, including a convenient drive-through where voters can simply drop their ballots on the fly, without having to get out of their vehicles.

He told the San Benito County Board of Supervisors at its recent meeting that the Department of Elections installed a vote-by-mail drop box in the alley between the Hall of Records and the County Free Library.

“The alley has been changed permanently to one-way so people can drive in through the Fifth Street entrance,” Gonzalez said. “Yesterday, we had 650 ballots returned and 70 were returned in that box.”

The Secretary of State has provided a "California Quick Guide" to help voters understand the 17 statewide propositions.

“Election Day is coming up and those people who have not voted early should be prepared by bringing their sample ballots with them to the polls,” Gonzalez said. “If they have that filled out, I’m sure it’s going to help reduce the lines. We’re expecting long lines this election.”

Another option for voters who know they will not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day is to drop by the Hall of Records, 440 Fifth St., second floor, Room 206, to vote early. The office will also be open Nov. 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Election Day, the office will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are numerous ways to vote.

  • U.S. Mail. If voters return their ballot by mail, they must affix two first-class stamps. The Department of Elections encourages voters who mail their ballot to do so a week before the Election. Voters can mail their ballot up to Tuesday, Nov. 8, Election Day. However, ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8 and received by the Department of Elections within three working days for the ballot to be counted.
  • Election Day — at any polling place in San Benito County. Voters may also drop off their voted ballot at any San Benito County polling place location on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be 21 polling place locations on Election Day. Polling place locations are available on the elections website.
  • Early Voting — at the Department of Elections. Pick-up and drop-off vote-by-mail ballots early voting started Oct. 10. Voting days and hours are as follows: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 10-Nov. 7; weekend voting on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Election Day, Nov. 8, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For additional information, call 831-636-4016 or go to:

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John Chadwell (John Chadwell)

John Chadwell is an investigative reporter for BenitoLink. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to:

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