Assemblyman Evan Low Slams Santa Clara County ROV for Flub That Impacted 26 Candidates

Of all people to be inconvenienced by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV), it had to be one of its most vocal critics—none other than the ex-chair of the Assembly Elections Committee who ordered a scathing audit of the agency just two years prior.

Assemblyman Evan Low got a text at about 3:30pm on Dec. 3 that he’d have to book it 120 miles from Sac to San Jose before the ROV’s 5pm closure to fill out nomination paperwork flubbed by some automated “clerical error.”

The 28th Assembly District representative made it to the ROV HQ in time and demanded to speak the head honcho—the registrar herself, Shannon Bushey—who reportedly apologized for the mix-up and said that, contrary to her staff’s earlier instructions, Low didn’t have to drive all the way to the South Bay after all.

“It was a lively conversation,” Low tells Fly. “She acknowledged the problem. She apologized for it. And I told her basically, ‘Of all people, I’m the one watching you and want you to fix this. But how am I to have confidence in a department where there’s problem after problem, year after year? It’s absolutely inexcusable.’”

If the gaffe was an isolated occurrence, that would be one thing. “But these problems are systemic,” Low says. “These problems are perennial.”

Eric Kurhi, a spokesman for the ROV, says the clerical error that lured Low away from his legislative duties impacted seven state and federal candidates and 19 contenders for local office. While Bushey was unavailable for comment by press time, Kurhi says the ROV “regrets the inconvenience of an additional trip to our office but would like to assure candidates that the error will not affect their candidacy in any capacity.”

Kurhi followed up with another email to add that the ROV “prides itself on customer service, and we engage with all our customers and listen to any concerns in a professional and courteous manner.“

Low says the incident doesn’t give him much faith that the ROV has corrected course since State Auditor Elaine Howle’s 2017 overview of the agency’s litany of blunders from the six preceding years.

During his tenure as Elections Committee chair, he says he heard anecdotally that Santa Clara County’s ROV ranked among the worst in the state and that Howle’s 2017 report helped corroborate as much, showing a reported 26 errors over the course of 30 elections. Some of the missteps included faulty mapping, vendor mistakes and inadequate proofreading—all of which are costly to taxpayers and undermine already tenuous public confidence in US elections.

“I have zero confidence in this registrar,” Low says.

What’s more, he adds, is that he’s pretty disillusioned about the county as a whole for failing to rein in the incompetency.

“Does the county management even care?” he asks. “The bigger story is why is the Board of Supervisors not doing anything when the evidence is so clear and pervasive that something’s wrong here? I mean, where is the accountability?”

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8 Comments

  1. “Where is the accountability?” Welcome to the world of dealing with inept gov’t bureaucrats Evan! This is life for the rest of us.

    • I had the same reaction. I don’t know which I find more ridiculous, the fact that somehow it is considered news that a politician suffered from error in the delivery of government service or the fact that Mr. Low feels the need to publicly gripe about it to embarrass the ROV. He should just be happy that people listen to him. Perhaps he should gripe and then do something about things that his constituents care about. The ROV is not likely high on that list. I have had some suggestions over the years only to receive absolutely no response at all from his office. I have gotten better constituent attention from my US Senators than I ever did from Mr Low.

      On a final note, If Low initiated this news story, I would have to say, stop being such a baby.

  2. > Assemblyman Evan Low Slams Santa Clara County ROV for Flub That Impacted 26 Candidates

    The California elections systems have mammothly larger problems than whiny Evan Low’s carbon footprint:

    + dead people on the voter rolls
    + elimination of polling places and ballot judges (“Voters Choice Act”)
    + universal use of mail in ballots
    + third party access to ballots (“ballot harvesting”)
    + millions of unaccounted-for mail-in ballots
    + insecure voter registration data INCLUDING VOTER SIGNATURES!
    + tricky, sneaky, complex election rules (“top-two” primaries, “ranked choice voting”)
    + non-transparent vote counting
    + etc. etc.

    I can understand that Evan Low might have some hurt feelings, but what does he expect. He lives in an electoral banana republic. And HE is part of the junta.

  3. What is the problem exactly, lol? “…the error will not affect their candidacy in any capacity.” Seems like a minor incident blown out of proportion. You do know that the Registrar of Voters is a transparent place and you are able to observe the elections. I’ve observed the elections before and there is a lot of hard work that goes on with running an election.

    • > You do know that the Registrar of Voters is a transparent place and you are able to observe the elections.

      What the hell are you going to observe at the next election when there are no polling places, no one can see who is voting, the votes are transported by un-vetted third parties, and counted by scanners and computers programmed by Ukrainians, Russkies, or God-knows-who?

      Personally, I wouldn’t trust the vote totals even if the computers were programmed by the FBI or the Pope.

      And, by the way, if the North Koreans can print perfect one hundred dollar bills, do you think they might be able to figure out how to print ballots and mailing envelopes?

      The 2020 election has already been stolen.

      If you want to know what it’s like to take a blue pill and live in the matrix, watch election returns on CNN.

  4. Sounds like you’re talking about when it comes to voting for the President and how our media manipulates things on a macro scale. I’m talking about voting in good ol’ Santa Clara County, CA.

    • > I’m talking about voting in good ol’ Santa Clara County, CA.

      Well, you probably right.

      I’m sure the elections in good ol’ Santa Clara County are honest and fair.

      After all, Santa Clara County is known for honest and fair politicians.

      So, are you still planning on going to the ROV office to watch the honest and fair employees open the vote by mail envelopes and run them through the scanners and computers?

      Do us a favor, and take a close look at the scanners and computers and make sure that they’re adding and subtracting correctly and not changing any votes.

      If anything looks fishy, call the FBI.

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