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With ballots hitting mailboxes, Primary Election season is officially here.

A line of early voters seen outside the Monterey County Elections satellite

A line of early voters seen outside the Monterey County Elections satellite voting location at the Embassy Suites in Seaside on Nov. 2, 2020. Photographed by Parker Seibold.

Pam Marino here. I never thought I’d get used to voting by mail—I take great pride in exercising my right to vote, and entering a voting booth on election day feels in a way like a sacred rite in and of itself.

When I took the job at the Weekly I signed up as a permanent mail-in voter. I was a little sad to miss out on the voting booth experience, but I didn’t want to chance being so busy covering elections on deadline that I missed voting in person. To make the act still feel important, I made a point of dropping my ballot off at a temporary dropbox at a city hall.

Now, all registered voters in California have joined me, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the state’s decision to mail ballots to us. Monterey County Elections has since added permanent ballot dropbox locations around the county. There is still the option to go to polling places on Election Day, but remember to bring the ballot you received in the mail with you. 

The ballots for the 2022 June 7 Primary Election were scheduled to hit mailboxes beginning yesterday, May 9. Mine was waiting in my mailbox when I got home from work. I knew it was arriving thanks to an email I received in the morning from “Where’s My Ballot?” a service of the California Secretary of State and local elections offices, including Monterey County Elections.

Voting is now in full swing: You can fill out your ballot anytime between now and Election Day and mail it in, no postage required. Or you can drop it into one of 20 official dropboxes. If you like, you can vote early in person at the Elections office in Salinas. You can also vote or drop off your ballot during set hours June 2-7 at a temporary Elections outpost at the Embassy Suites in Seaside.

If you need addresses for dropboxes or Elections locations, use the interactive map I first created in 2020 and now update for each election. The map shows which boxes are 24-hour locations (red circles with white stars) and which are only available during office hours (blue circles). It also denotes Elections locations (gold circles); there’s also a 24-hour dropbox at the Salinas office. 

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Haven’t registered to vote, or moved since the last election? Visit or call the toll-free number, 866-887-9274. If you go to the website, you can easily check your registration status or register to vote online. To sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” go to

And if you need more information on the local candidates seeking to represent residents in order to make an informed decision, make sure to pick up a copy of this Thursday’s edition of the paper, which will feature endorsements by the Weekly’s Editorial Board. 

One more thing: I’m always interested in receiving your photos of dropbox locations to add to the interactive map. Send them my way in the coming weeks. Thanks!

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(1) comment

Douglas Deitch

Dear Endorsers, I appreciate and respect your endorsements in your periodical/websites but find, since they do not even mention the names of the three challenging 19th Congressional District candidates myself, Douglas Deitch (Democrat @, Dalia Epperson (R) ( & Jeff Gorman (R) ( for such an important position, to be grossly but hopefully not intentionally deficient and not in the best interests of our democracy and protecting it , a fully informed and VOTING public, and basic fairness, imho. I hope you will correct this and be fair and respectful to us all, as well? Best/health/tikkun olam, Doug

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