What We Do
With a staff of 22 full-time employees and a budget of approximately $3.2 million, the Clerk-Recorder’s Office maintains vital records and legal documents relating to real property and assists the public in a variety of ways, including issuing marriage licenses and filing fictitious business name statements. Clerk-Recorder staff supports the Board of Supervisors and other boards by maintaining and preserving the records of their actions.
The Clerk-Recorder also acts as the Registrar of Voters, which ensures that all eligible voters can be registered to vote and conducts elections for federal, state and county offices, as well as all cities, schools and special districts in the county. Among all of these other responsibilities, the Clerk-Recorder also serves as the Commissioner of Civil Marriages, providing volunteers to perform civil marriage ceremonies.
Among all of these other responsibilities, the Clerk-Recorder also serves as the Commissioner of Civil Marriages, providing volunteers to perform civil marriage ceremonies.
What We Did in 2014
New Generation of Election, Campaign Tools
In 2014, the Clerk-Recorder’s Office streamlined and digitized various systems and tools to prepare for the 2014 General Election, providing voters, the public and the media greater access to information that was previously only available in print.
In July 2014, a new online tool was launched that increased transparency by providing online access to digitized and electronically filed campaign finance reports. This system allowed political committees and candidates to electronically file these public documents that were then simultaneously posted to the Clerk-Recorder website for public viewing. In addition, paper filings could be easily scanned, redacted and posted online within one business day of receipt.
Campaign finance reports detail the contributions and expenditures for candidates and other committees involved in election activities. The public reporting of this information is critical to the public’s right to know who is contributing to campaigns and to ensure that improper practices are inhibited.
The Clerk-Recorder receives and maintains these reports and currently manages filings for 80 office holders and 40 campaign or political action committees. Additionally, 10 to 20 new candidate committees are created in every election. Previously, paper statements were filed, scanned and placed in filing cabinets requiring the public or media to visit the office to view these statements. This new system now improves public access to these files.
Electronically filed campaign reports can also be searched across the system for information such as how many contributions a donor made to all candidates. The new system has also streamlined procedures for Clerk-Recorder staff by saving 40 to 80 hours of staff time per filing period. In addition, the system’s built-in edit features ensure that incomplete statements are not filed, removing the necessity for time-consuming amendments to correct clerical errors.
Voters Gain Even More Online Election Tools
Every election year is a busy one for the Clerk-Recorder’s Office and 2014 was no exception. On a daily basis during the election, the department helped voters register to vote, submit their vote-by-mail ballots and find their polling places. The volume of calls increased as Election Day neared, and as a result, the Clerk-Recorder developed a series of tools to help voters get the information they need online.
In 2014, SLO County voters were able to look up voter registration and vote-by-mail ballot status online, as well as find their assigned polling place location. The Clerk-Recorder’s Office also posted pictures online of the accessibility features of polling locations and the path of travel to the room where voting would take place.
In addition, campaigns and candidates could access online precinct maps with an interactive mapping application. While many of these tools have been available since 2010, the Clerk-Recorder continued to enhance them for the 2014 elections, and the electric mapping application went live for use in 2014.
The County’s Clerk-Recorder will continue to enhance public tools, allowing SLO County residents to easily access public records and election information well into the future.