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With election integrity at top of mind, what is Santa Clara County doing to keep your votes secure?

Original post made on Oct 15, 2020

Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey acknowledged concerns that have been raised about election security on Tuesday, however, she said safeguards have been put in place to ensure the integrity of the results.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 15, 2020, 9:05 AM

Comments (9)

8 people like this
Posted by lurp23
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:47 am

lurp23 is a registered user.

I just dropped off my ballot at the Los Altos library. Just to add to the confusion of the season, there are two ballot boxes at that location and they look completely different. How is the ordinary person in the street to know if both are official ballot boxes or if one of them is a sham? Why doesn't SCC deploy two identical boxes at each location to avoid this type of confusion? One box was marked "Official ballot box" but the other was less clear. I had to go to the sccvote.org site and read the tweets there to assure myself that someone was not messing with the ballot collection with the two different box types. As if this election season is not fraught enough!!


7 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:49 am

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

Thank you, Weekly, for publicizing this information. I have worked at least twenty elections for Santa Clara County, and have consistently found them to be well run, and the permanent ROV staff knowledgeable and very competent. I would encourage anyone who has not worked an election to do so; it is an important learning experience about the process and our democracy. You will gain a great deal of respect for both.


11 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2020 at 11:20 am

Voter is a registered user.

The CA Republican Party has been putting up hundreds of fake ballot drop boxes as a misguided protest against the law that allows people to take ballots in for others who cannot. In the latter case, it's only legal if the person retrieving and delivering the ballot signs with the person who is voting. What the Republicans are doing is deceptive and could lead to theft of people's private information, signatures, and is a felony. It could disenfranchise voters, including Republicans.

I'm glad I didn't send in my ballot yet, I was thinking of voting for Peter Ohtaki over Mark Berman (who has been such a disappointment), but Ohtaki should have run as an independent. Republicans just shows over and over again how they support corruption and destroying our government from the inside (who needs Russians when you have Republicans to destroy our nation all on their own?) I can't vote for Republicans again until they decide to stop being the party that lies for plutocracy (government of, by, and for the super-rich) and against democracy (government of, by, and for the people). The Republican misleading ballot box scandal is the last straw. You can't believe anything they say.

We were talking about a Proposition last night, and the Republican argument seemed really reasonable, but they've been so untrustworthy, we all felt we had to discount it until we could do more investigation with more trustworthy sources because of the likely deception, subtext, and lack of fair discernment coming from Republicans. I'm still going to look into it more, but It's just telling how they've destroyed their credibility like this and do not get how bullying, immature, untrustworthy, and destructive of civil society they come across, and this misleading ballot box fiasco is just the latest. They have no one to blame but themselves for becoming a third party in this state.

Thanks to the registrar for the clear and reassuring information. But have the Republicans set up a second, misleading box at the Los Altos Library, or is it a second official one? Please Weekly and Registrar, take a look post haste because we need to be able to trust that our ballots are going into an official box. That box is used by a lot of Palo Alto voters.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

There was an article in the paper about how many ballots were not counted in the primary election. Santa Clara County had over 6,000 votes not counted. Despite what your local "experts" are saying in one article there is another article telling a different story - all in one paper.


5 people like this
Posted by Dick D.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:21 pm

Dick D. is a registered user.

I am one of those who has heard over and over, but have reason to believe the churning put out by the White House about voting in this country being in a catastrophic condition – that bellowing is great if you're trying to get people's attention from other things, but there already is a clear history were voting by mail has been very successful and accurate. For ballots dropped off rather than mailed, good citizens will make known attempts to screw things up at drop off locations, as some of today's contributors have already cited. Except for the very unsettling signature matching controversy elsewhere, the quality of the system that finally gets the submitted votes counted is amazingly good. This despite this rounds attempts by various groups to disrupt things. They are despicable, but they will not succeed in blocking the results.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident of Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Resident of Palo Alto is a registered user.

Why is anyone voting early? There is still news before November 3. I want to wait to see instead of regret.
Today are two Town Halls on TV:
ABC > 5:00-7:00 Biden Town Hall in Philadelphia
NBC > 8:00-9:00 Trump Town Hall in Miami


13 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2020 at 3:42 am

Voter is a registered user.

@Resident,
People are voting early for a lot of reasons. Our state starts processing and counting the ballots before election day, as do many other states, so voting early will help the elections people get the final tally finished faster.

Voting early allows people to be sure their ballot is counted by checking with the registrar, so they have time to fix it if there's a problem. It keeps the lines down on election day so that fewer people are disenfranchised. It minimizes the risk of spreading infection if things are crowded on election day. It allows people to avoid risking something going wrong in their lives interfering with their voting if they vote later. Every vote counts, people want to be sure they get their votes in.

Programs like KQED and KALW have had forums about all the propositions which you can listen to, they were very helpful. I've already done all my research on the various measures. I think the number of people who would change their mind in the Presidential race because of watching the debates is really very small. All of the candidates are well-known in public life, it's hard to imagine that anyone would be gleaning anything new and surprising at this stage.


10 people like this
Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:11 am

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

@Voter: The Registrar of Voters office said that both drop boxes in places where two have been placed, such as the Los Altos Library and Palo Alto City Hall, are official. I've added the following to the article above to clarify the confusing situation:

The county is using two styles of drop box -- ones used in the past and ones that are new as of this election. In 22 locations in the county, such as Palo Alto City Hall and Los Altos Library, the county's placed both the old and new boxes side by side to handle a higher volume of ballots. You can place your ballot in either one; both are legitimate.

The new boxes are labeled with the Santa Clara County seal and the words "Official Ballot Drop Box" on the front. The old one has "Ballot Drop-Off" in giant blue capital letters on the front of the box, and the county seal is on side of the box in the bottom corner.


14 people like this
Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Oct 16, 2020 at 9:04 am

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows: You are correct; 6,000+ Santa Clara County ballots were not counted in the March primary. (That was 1.41% of the returned vote by mail ballots.)

Why did that happen? The majority -- 5,531 -- were not received on time. By law, the Registrar cannot count ballots that aren't returned by the deadline. For the primary, the ballot had to be postmarked by Election Day and received within three days.

This election -- to ensure that the US Postal Service is not the cause of ballots arriving too late to be counted -- a ballot will be counted if it's postmarked by Election Day and arrives by Nov. 20. Plus, the ballots can be returned via drop boxes and also to an in-person vote center.

For more information on why ballots were rejected throughout California during the primary, see Web Link


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