When, Where to Vote Before June’s Primary Election

Voters who want to cast their ballot for the June 7 presidential primaries in person don’t have to wait for Election Day. Five polling stations open this weekend and the next.

It's a big day for San Jose, where five City Council seats are up for grabs. Here's a rundown, in case you missed it. Also on the ballot is an initiative called Measure C, which aims to replace the city's cannabis ordinance. Local voters will decide the fate of a quarter-cent sales tax as well, on the ballot as Measure B.

Other contests include California's marquee Senate race between Rep. Loretta Sanchez and Attorney General Kamala Harris and the intra-party showdown in the 17th Congressional District between embattled Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and perennial contender Ro Khanna. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) faces two opponents in the 18th Congressional District and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) squares off against Republican challenger Burt Lancaster.

State Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) is up against terming-out 27th District Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose), which has stirred up a whole lot of drama lately. Vying to replace Campos in AD27 are San Jose's former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra, county Board of Education trustee Darcie Green, school trustee Van Le, engineer Cong Do, college teacher Andres Quintero and attorney Esau Herrera.

For the full list of races, click here. OK, back to the when, where and how to vote in the June election. Santa Clara County’s Registrar of Voters (ROV) will offer a polling station in each of the county’s supervisorial district in addition to its headquarters in San Jose. Once voters arrive at any station or the main office, they can cast their ballot then and there or take it home and mail it back. Touch-screen voting machines are available for the blind and visually impaired.

Voters registered under “no party preference” can also exchange their ballot for any of the crossover party ballots. Asking for a crossover ballot doesn’t change a person’s registered “no party preference” status, but it does allow voters to pick a presidential candidate in the primary election.

Before casting a ballot at an early voting center or the ROV office, make sure it’s sealed inside a signed envelope. The signature has to be verified for that vote to count.

Another option is to bring ballots at one of 53 drop-off sites throughout the county—23 of which are open 24 hours a day. To make things even easier, the ROV set up five drive-through voting stations where voters can cast a ballot without so much as stepping out of their car.

For folks returning their ballots by mail, here’s some good news: the ROV will foot the bill for postage. That’s a first for this county and a second for the state—one other county had us beat. As of Wednesday, the ROV already received nearly 15 percent of the 600,000 mail-in ballots it issued.

For registered voters, there’s basically no excuse but to participate in the upcoming election.

“There is no more important action in a democracy than voting,” ROV Shannon Bushey said. “The Registrar of Voters’ Office is passionate about increasing voter turnout. We hope that we will make it easier to vote by providing prepaid postage for all vote-by-mail ballots, and by providing early voting centers for all voters in the county.”

For all the details, see below.

Early voting

Any voter in Santa Clara County can vote early at the Registrar of Voters' Office, 1555 Berger Drive in San Jose. Hours are 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday through June 6 and 9am to 3pm on weekends. Come Election Day, hours extend from 7am to polls closing at 8pm.

Weekend voting

Sites will run from noon to 5pm Saturday and Sunday at the following locations:

  • Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St. in Gilroy
  • Joyce Ellington Branch Library, 491 E. Empire St. in San Jose
  • Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Road in Los Altos
  • Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road in Santa Clara
  • Educational Park Branch Library, 1772 Educational Park Drive in San Jose

Ballot Drop-Off Sites

Through Election Day, voters have the option of dropping off their completed mail-in ballots at the following locations:

  • Santa Clara County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St. in San Jose
  • Monte Sereno City Hall, 18041 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Monte Sereno
  • Campbell City Hall, 70 N. First St. in Campbell
  • Morgan Hill City Hall, 17575 Peak Ave. in Morgan Hill
  • Cupertino City Hall, 10300 Torre Ave. in Cupertino
  • Mountain View City Hall, 500 Castro St. in Mountain View
  • Gilroy City Hall, 7351 Rosanna St. in Gilroy
  • Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave. in Palo Alto
  • Los Altos City Hall, 1 N. San Antonio Road in Los Altos
  • San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose
  • Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road in Los Altos Hills
  • Santa Clara City Hall, 1500 Warburton Ave. in Santa Clara
  • Los Gatos Town Hall, 110 E. Main St. in Los Gatos
  • Saratoga City Hall, 13777 Fruitvale Ave. in Saratoga
  • Milpitas City Hall, 455 E. Calaveras Blvd. in Milpitas
  • Sunnyvale City Hall, 650 W. Olive Ave. in Sunnyvale
  • Martin Luther King Library, 150 E. San Fernando St. in San Jose
  • Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto
  • Rose Garden Library, 1580 Naglee Ave. in San Jose

Drive-through-voting sites

From 10am to 3pm on the upcoming two weekends, mail-in voters will have the option of dropping off their ballots without getting out of their cars at the following locations:

  • Curtner Light Rail Station, Canoas Garden at Curtner avenues in San Jose
  • Morgan Hill Transit Center, Main and Hale avenues in Morgan Hill
  • Hostetter Light Rail Station, Capitol Avenue and Camino del Rey in San Jose
  • Westgate Shopping Center, back lot near Hamilton Avenue, 1600 Saratoga Avenue in San Jose
  • Mayfield Soccer Complex, Page Mill Road at El Camino Real in Palo Alto

For more information, go to the ROV website at www.sccvote.org.

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

3 Comments

    • JMO, good catch!

      The Governor’s office would probably be happy to appoint sassistants to help blind folks with their electronic voting machine choices. What could possibly go wrong?

      I have experience with a manufacturer of electronic voting machines (Sequoia). Our organization finally rejected them because the machines were far too easy to hack.

      That problem was brought home during the last Presidential election, when widespread reports of such hacking appeared. Such as people voting for Romney, but seeing a different vote (Obama) appear, even after several attempts to go back and change it. And in some precincts well over 100% of eligible voters cast ballots — and every vote went to the same candidate! A search for ‘election fraud’ or similar key words will bring an avalanche of similar examples. The use of electronic voting machines has made it very easy to game the system.

      We often read news stories about ultra-secure bank software being regularly hacked. And since that’s very bad publicity for banks, we can be sure there are unreported cases. Bank software is strongly vetted, because if someone hacks the code, they can steal $millions. But who vets electronic voting machines?

      There’s no federal department responsible for verifying the security of the various electronic voting machine makers. Their relatively simple software is easy to hack. And as Stalin said, “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”

      It doesn’t take much to swing an election. Just a few votes in a few targeted precincts is enough. The precinct results can change the county and state results, and in many cases just one or a few states can change the winner of a national election. And in many cases there’s no paper trail.

      The integrity of our voting process has been destroyed by electronic voting machines. It cannot be fixed by making the software better. When banks cannot write hacker-proof software, there’s no possibility of making voting machine software secure enough. The only way to bring back honest voting is by going back to paper ballots. They worked just fine for a couple of hundred years.

      Paper ballots are the only honest voting method. There is no excuse to use electronic voting machines, with their very easy to hack software. Get rid of them!

  1. > It doesn’t take much to swing an election. Just a few votes in a few targeted precincts is enough.

    Exactly.

    And, I suspect, this is what sophisticated hackers would do, and probably have already done.

    Software needs to be maintained, updated, and from time to time, patched. Virtually every software based device has provisions for software updates.

    It would not take a large software patch to — say — change one of every twenty five votes for Romney into a vote for Obama. And, if these infected machines just happened to be in a few dozen strategic precincts in — say — Ohio, it would change the results of a Presidential election. And, it would be virtually undiscoverable.

    “What the mind can conceive, a software hacker can achieve.”