More and more folks are voting via mail-in ballots, touted as a convenience for busy citizens.

Oct. 30 is the deadline to apply for mail-in ballots. Applications for the mail-in ballots are available in the city clerk's office in City Hall or the Orange County Registrar of Voters Office in Santa Ana. The ballots will start showing up in voters' mailboxes after Oct. 9.

"There is no need to mail in the ballot until you take the time to learn about candidates and initiatives," said Jean Raun, long-time member of the Laguna Beach chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Mail-in ballots can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Orange County Registrars' Office up to Election Day or be walked into any designated polling place. Voters who can't make it to the poll can have someone else drop it off.

"Early voting gives an edge to incumbents, whose names are more familiar to voters, but your idea about candidates can change after attending forums," Raun said.

"I'd advise voters not to commit themselves until they have more information about the candidates and the initiatives, which require a lot of study," she added.

Raun said she has spent the last month studying the initiatives in preparation for pros and cons presentations she will be giving.

"How can anyone vote on an initiative until they hear the pros and cons — unless they want to spend a month like I do, digging into them," Raun said. "I let people know where the funding is coming from and the analysis of what it could change — the whole point of them is to make a change — and what to watch for: earmarks, where the money is going.

"If the initiative says it will do wonderful things without identifying the funding, it comes out of the general fund and may reduce funding for things in the budget that the voter may support," according to Raun.

Voters will have an opportunity to learn more about Laguna Beach City Council candidates and their positions on ballot initiatives in upcoming forums.

Next up is the Laguna Beach Republicans/Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn. City Council candidates forum at 7 p.m. Friday in council chambers, 505 Forest Ave. Dennis Myers will moderate and the forum will be televised.

The pros and cons on the ballot issues, a discussion about the 11 issues on the ballot for the state and one for Laguna, will be presented by the League of Women Voters at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third St. just explains. For more information, contact Jean Raun at lagunatic.jeanraun@gmail.com.

The Chamber of Commerce and Laguna Board of Realtors hosts the council candidates at 6 p.m. Thursday at the council chambers, 505 Forest Ave. Joan Gladstone will moderate and it is set to be televised.

The pros and cons on the ballot issues, a discussion about the 11 issues on the ballot for the state and one for Laguna, will be presented by the League of Women Voters at 10 a.m. Oct. 6 at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach, 429 Cypress Drive. For more information, contact Jean Raun at lagunatic.jeanraun@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, the Democrats will hold a fundraiser from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Laguna Beach Democratic Club, 1401 S. Coast HwyA donation of $65 per person is suggested.

The event will include the live auction of a Jorg Dubin portrait of President Obama and a silent auction. Wine will be served. For more information, call (949) 715-8684.

*

Voter registration deadlines

City Clerk Martha Anderson announced at the Sept. 18 City Council meeting that Oct. 8 is the deadline for registered voters to receive a Sample Ballot Pamphlet for the General Election. Oct. 22 is the last day to register.

*

Egly meet-and-greet

Council members Kelly Boyd and Elizabeth Pearson hosted an admission-free, meet-and-greet with Mayor Jane Egly on Wednesday night at the Marine Room Tavern.

Boyd and Pearson announced they are endorsing Egly and Bob Whalen in the upcoming election.

Egly is running for her third term on the City Council.

coastlinepilot@latimes.com

Twitter: @coastlinepilot