Voters Drop Off Mail Ballots at California's Only Drive-Through Window—in Santa Rosa

A steady stream of motorists are using the window at Sonoma County's Registrar of Voters today. They can do so until 8 p.m., at close of polling stations.

Sonoma County voters have one more option for getting their vote in on time during an election—a drive-through window at the Registrar of Voters in Santa Rosa.

"It's the only one in the state," Janice Atkinson, the Registrar, told Patch today.

The window will be open until 8 p.m. tonight for people dropping off mail ballots.

It's open all year for any Registrar of Voters services, as needed. At those times, motorists press a button and a staff person comes to the window.

The idea was Atkinson's brainchild.

"It was installed when we moved into this building (on Fiscal Drive) 22 years ago," she said. "We used to be in the Hall of Justice building (on Administration Drive nearby) and we had an internal office. It was so hard for some people to park and get in there, that I said, 'I want a drive-through window.' And people love it. A lot of people use it."

Along with the drive-through voters today, there are other people walking in to the Registrar's office get voting issues solved.

Some are new citizens voting for the first time.

"There was a citizenship ceremony in the East Bay recently," Atkinson said. "Those people are allowed to come in and vote today."

Other voters are keeping the phone bank busy.

"The phones have gone crazy all day," Atkinson said. "Everyone has been waking up and thinking, 'Gee where do I vote today.'"

Keri Brenner November 07, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Great job, Julie! Very cool! Thanks....


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