Tag Archives: Vote Center

Early Voting in Santa Clara County

The Registrar of Voters’ Office mailed out the first ballots for the March 3 Presidential Primary Election, in a statement released by the County of Santa Clara on January 17. 

Vote by Mail for Military and Overseas Voters

Over 7000 ballots were sent early to military and overseas voters (45 days before the election), so they have time to return their ballots by the deadline via mail postage-free or by fax, in order to be counted for the March 3 Presidential Primary Election

Vote by Mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and must be received by Friday, March 6. Military and overseas voters also must sign the ballot’s return envelope so their signatures can be matched with their voter registration forms to confirm their identity.

“Santa Clara County voters who serve and live abroad have the same right to cast a ballot as those of us here at home,” said Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey. “We get their ballots out early …. ensuring their voices are heard even if they are on the other side of the world.” 

Registering to Vote for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election

To register to vote in Santa Clara County, a voter must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, a Santa Clara County resident and not imprisoned or on parole for a felony.

The last day to register to vote  is February 18. You can register online at Register to Vote or check your registration status on Check Your Registration Status. Those who miss the registration deadline, can register within 14 days of the election (including on Election Day) as conditional voters at the Registrars’ Office or at any Santa Clara County Vote Center, subject to the determination of voter eligibility by the Registrar of Voters’ Office. Complete a new registration form if you have moved, changed your name or changing political party preference. Check here for details.

How to Vote Early in Santa Clara County 

All active registered voters in Santa Clara County will receive a Vote by Mail packet including an official ballot with postage-free return on February 3, 2020, twenty nine days before Election Day. Early voting begins at the Registrars’ office on that same date. You can return the Vote by Mail ballots to any of the Vote Centers or at any over the 100+ drop boxes across the country.

Vote Centers open a full 10 days before Election Day on Saturday, February 22, 2020 for live ballots. 

Of the more than 936,000 registered voters in Santa Clara County, nearly 300,000 are registered as No Party Preference (NPP). Their primary election ballots will not include candidates for President. Voters can cast a crossover vote in the presidential contest for American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian parties. Voters who cast a crossover vote will continue to be registered as No Party Preference and will be able to request a crossover ballot in each future presidential primary election

The Green, Peace & Freedom, and Republican parties opted to not allow crossover voting in the presidential primary so NPP voters must re-register with these parties if they want to cast a ballot for any of them. Send all requests for new ballots by February 25. 

The Registrar of Voters needs at least 2,000 workers to operate the Vote Centers under the Voter’s Choice Act model. Voters will be using a new, updated voting system when they cast their ballots. To learn more or to apply, visit Work at a Vote Center.

For more information, contact the Registrar of Voters’ Office at (408) 299-VOTE (8683) or toll-free at (866) 430-VOTE (8683), or visit www.sccvote.org.



Santa Clara County Introduces New Voting System

Big changes are coming to the ballot box for the 2020 Primary elections in Santa Clara County – changes that will affect where you vote and how you vote. 

Santa Clara will join a small but growing number of California counties implementing changes mandated by the California Voter’s Choice Act, which aims to make it easier for voters to vote.  These changes go into effect by the March 2020 primary election, as approved by the County Board of Supervisors in April this year.

While there are concerns that the new system might cause confusion and reduce voter participation, the counties that implemented the new model in November 2018 election saw turnout increase by 12 to 19 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Santa Clara County Registrar’s staff. However, several counties statewide saw an increase in turnout which could be attributed to the current political climate. 

Here is what you need to know about the New Vote Center starting with the March 2020 primary election:

  • If you are a Santa Clara resident, instead of casting a ballot at one of nearly 850 neighborhood polling places, you will be able to go to any of 125 voting centers throughout the county, open for multiple days to give you a larger window to cast your ballot
  • The Vote Centers will be equipped with an electronic book that lets poll workers see whether a person has voted at any other location across the county or submitted a vote-by-mail ballot.
  • If you need a replacement ballot, or a ballot in another language, you can have one printed for them on the spot.
  • Every voter will also be automatically sent a vote-by-mail ballot, regardless of whether they signed up for one.
  • Voters can also register to vote at the center at the last minute. 

Santa Clara county residents will also be using an all-new voting system for the 2020 Primary elections with the goal of increasing participation and election security.  

Each Vote Center will have a minimum of three ADA-compliant ballot-marking devices that include a touchscreen tablet and individual printer. These devices provide a simple and intuitive interface for voters.  After marking a ballot on the touchscreen, voters will print the ballot in their voting booth. The voters deposit their paper ballot into the ballot tabulator which will warn the voter about potential errors, allowing the voter to correct the error.

Election Night results will come much faster for the voters because the new system allows for counting at each Voter Center.  Previously, all the ballots were sent to the Registrar’s main office for tabulation. 

The California Secretary of State’s Office has undertaken exhaustive and extensive end-to-end testing to certify the security of the new system. The new voting system is not connected to the internet and cannot receive or transmit any electronic election data.

Fair and free elections are a hallmark of American democracy and the American people’s trust in their government is contingent on their confidence in the election process.   Registrar of Voters, Shannon Bushey thinks that voters will like the new system. “We are looking forward to this change,” she said “….and we appreciate the increase in performance and processing speed the new voting system will bring, as well as its stringent vote-security measures.”

For more information on these changes, contact the Registrar of Voters’ Office at 1-408-299-VOTE (8683) or toll-free at 1-866-430-VOTE (8683), or visit www.sccvote.org

Anjana Nagarajan-Butaney is a Bay Area resident with experience in educational non-profits, community building, networking and content development and was Community Director for an online platform. She is interested in how to strengthen communities by building connections to politics, science & technology, gender equality and public education.