Election Day 2020 is Right Around the Corner!

By: Deputy City Manager/City Clerk, Lara Christensen


The next General Municipal Election for the City of Atascadero will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. In addition to the important issues and candidates under consideration in the national election, Atascadero voters will have the opportunity to vote for a Mayor with a two-year term, along with two City Council members, each with four-year terms.

There are three local qualified candidates who have filed and are running for the Mayor’s seat, which include Jerry Tanimoto, Heather Moreno, and Josh Donovan. The five candidates running for the two available City Council seats are Charles Bourbeau, Bret Heinemann, Nicholas Mattson, Mark Dariz and Tori Keen.

In November, Atascadero voters will also be considering a one-percent sales tax ballot measure. The question voters will be asked to answer is:

To provide funding for fire protection, paramedics, and 911 emergency response, police, crime prevention and investigations, maintenance of parks, public facilities and infrastructure, graffiti removal, and recreation, community services, and other general city services in the City of Atascadero, shall an ordinance establishing a one-cent sales tax be adopted, providing approximately 5 million dollars annually for city services until ended by voters, with annual independent audits ensuring money is spent properly and all money locally controlled?

The deadline to register to vote for an election in California is 15 days before each local and statewide Election Day. To be eligible to vote at the November 3, 2020 election, you must be registered to vote no later than Monday, October 19, 2020.

Due to the ongoing safety issues surrounding COVID-19, the November 3, 2020 General Election will be conducted as an all-mail ballot election in California. All registered voters in the state will receive a vote-by-mail ballot in the mail before the election. If returning by mail, it is being suggested that voters return their ballots early, well before the November 3rd deadline, to ensure each vote is counted. For those voters located within San Luis Obispo County, ballots may be delivered to a secure Vote By Mail Ballot Drop Box, or they may be delivered to a Voter Service Center. Voters can sign up for BallotTrax, a service provided by the Secretary of State, to track when your ballot has been mailed, received, and counted.

It’s important for voters to know that in-person Voter Service Centers will be open for four (4) days of voting, from October 31st through Election Day. The proposed Atascadero locations for these Voter Service Centers are the Pavilion on the Lake at Atascadero Lake Park, the National Guard Armory on Olmeda Avenue, or the County Clerk-Recorder’s office located on Capistrano Avenue. An update on these local voting locations will be provided on the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s website.

For information regarding in-person voting locations, vote-by-mail-ballots, or voter registration and status, please visit the office of the San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder or call (805) 781-5228.

For additional information about the 2020 election, including the City of Atascadero’s campaign signage requirements and more, please visit the City Clerk’s Election 2020 information page, or feel free to contact me by email at cityclerk@atascadero.org. Thank you.

Deputy City Manager / City Clerk, Lara Christensen

Lara Christensen was hired as a Deputy City Manager for the City of Atascadero in January 2016 and assists in the administration and supervision of City affairs, in resolving constituent issues, and provides guidance and advice to Department Heads. She was also appointed to the position of City Clerk in March 2017, overseeing governmental processes such as elections, access to city records, and all legislative actions ensuring transparency to the public. Lara graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate, and the University of California Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communications. Prior to joining the City of Atascadero, she spent 10 years at the City of Chino Hills where she started as a Management Analyst in the Community Services Department and promoted to the positon of Assistant City Clerk. Lara is a Certified Municipal Clerk, a member of the International City/County Management Association, belongs to the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and the California City Clerk’s Association, and is currently working on her Master Municipal Clerk Designation.