Effective as of the March, 2020 election, the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters (ROV) will be implementing changes on how we register and vote based on the new Voter’s Choice Act.
Recently, I attended two of ROV’s presentations on the new law, one at the Milpitas Library and the other at Santa Clara County’s Government Center in San Jose.
At both meetings, it was disheartening to see that there were more staff than audience members, with audiences of around ten.
Whether the dismal attendance is due to poor marketing, insufficient outreach, or the perception that the election is still far away, nevertheless, I was disappointed. Additionally, when I asked staff whether the new software and hardware, which our county spent millions of tax dollars on, can improve election results’ turnaround, the answer was no. All ballots will still be counted manually. Again, I was disappointed.
Moreover, I asked staff if the new process can contribute to increasing voter registration. The answer was no. The new software and hardware are meant to improve voters’ experience in registration and actual voting only. Hence, I was disappointed.
In my frustration, I asked ROV to partner with my friends and I to start a voter registration drive. They agreed.
Lastly, here are several takeaways from the presentations:
– No more designated precincts
– Every registered voter will receive a Vote By Mail ballot countywide
– Completed ballots can be returned at any drop boxes or Vote Centers
– Voters can vote in person 10 days before election at any Vote Centers. For example, if you live in Milpitas and work in Gilroy, you can vote at any Vote Centers in Gilroy
– Voters can register and vote on the same day. This is called conditional registration.