Santa Clara County Registrar To Be Audited Over Election Errors

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A state Assembly committee has approved an audit of the Santa Clara County Registrar’s Office in the wake of a number of errors involving elections stemming back to 2010.

Registrar Shannon Bushey admits the office has made mistakes and said she welcomes the state auditor to review their procedures and tell them how they can keep errors from happening in the future.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) requested the state audit after recently detailing a litany of errors since 2010 during a recent hearing.

“I understand that it’s not uncommon for mistakes to occur in a natural process but the frequency of such errors is of significant concern,” said Low. “Some of those mistakes include vote by mail ballots that were mailed to individuals who were not eligible to vote. County information pamphlets were missing ballot arguments.”

Bushey noted that some mistakes don’t happen in the registrar’s office, but come from the outside, such as when the City of Campbell provided the wrong date for a measure’s moratorium in this year’s special election voter information guide.

“They realized they provided us with the wrong information,” said Bushey. “So we do have errors that we do make and we do analyze those and look for ways to improve.”

While Bushey is ready to roll out the welcome mat for the auditor, she wants the public to know the office has always admitted when they’re wrong and strived to do better.

When asked if it was possible to have 100 percent accuracy, Bushey replied, “We’ve had many more elections that have not had any errors.”

Bushey said translating the ballots into nearly a dozen languages also increases the risk of errors.

So does having a long ballot. In the November 2016 election, California had the longest ballot in history.

The county registrar audit should take about five months.

More from Maria Medina
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