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Hunter, Richard


Santa Barbara County

County certifies votes in Nov. 6 election

Certified results from the Nov. 6 election were released Thursday by the Santa Barbara County Registrar of Voters Office, but while vote totals changed in a few races, none of the winners did.

The documents showed that of the county’s 217,417 registered voters, a total of 157,697, or 72.53 percent, cast ballots, and most of those were vote-by-mail ballots.

Voters who cast ballots at one of the county’s 263 precinct polling places totaled 45,035, or just 28.55 percent of those who voted, while 112,662, or 71.44 percent, used vote-by-mail ballots.

Only two write-in candidates were qualified for offices in two special districts, and one received 16 votes and the other 103, based on a hand tally of the ballots.

But that didn’t stop some voters from expressing dissatisfaction with their choices, as a total of 5,127 write-in votes were cast.

Santa Barbara County

Sex offender arrested after exposing himself in Orcutt

A Santa Maria man was arrested Tuesday after reportedly exposing himself in front of a grocery store in Orcutt.

At about 4:20 p.m., the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center received a call from a woman reporting a male subject exposing himself in front of an Albertsons located in the 1100 block of East Clark Avenue. The subject was reportedly inside a marked work truck, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies assigned to the Santa Maria sheriff's substation arrived in the area to search the parking lot for the suspect but were unable to find him, according to the Sheriff's Office. Further investigation revealed that the suspect was found to be a registered sex offender with prior convictions for the same violation — indecent exposure.

The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Richard Kenneth Hunter, of Santa Maria.

On Wednesday, sheriff's deputies went to Hunter's Santa Maria home and arrested him. He was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held on $35,000 bail. 

The County Sheriff's Office cautions residents to not endanger themselves in gathering information or confronting suspects. But, thanks to the detailed information provided by the alleged victim in the case, deputies acknowledged they would not have been able to identify the suspect and make an arrest. 

Santa Barbara County residents can visit the Megan's Law website ( to familiarize themselves with sex registrants in their community.

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-- Staff reports