99 Vote Centers Open in Santa Clara County for Early Voting

Santa Clara County voters can now cast their ballots in person at 99 vote centers across the county through Election Day on Nov. 3.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, face masks will be required at all vote centers. Those who are unable to wear a face mask can cast their ballot outside the vote center with help from poll workers.

Polling booths, touch screens and all other high-contact surfaces will be disinfected between each use and the number of people allowed in the voter centers will be limited to accommodate social distancing.

“We take the safety of voters and our vote center staff very seriously,” Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey said in a news release. “Since the beginning of the month we’ve urged folks to get their ballot in early by mail or at a drop-box—that’s the most socially distanced way to vote, and it’s still not too late to do that. But we understand that a lot of people prefer to vote in person so we’re taking every precaution and following all Covid-19 prevention guidelines to make it as safe as possible.”

As of Oct. 30, 1,022,243 people had registered to vote in Santa Clara County and as of Oct. 29, 511,326 voters had already cast their ballots. That compares to 260,991 ballots cast at the same point in time during the 2016 presidential general election.

“Just a couple of weeks ago we broke a record for reaching the one million registered voters mark in Santa Clara County, now we’re seeing a record number of ballots being returned early,” Bushey said. “It is exciting to know that there are so many voters in Santa Clara County—whether brand-new voters or longtime voters or somewhere in between—who are eager and excited to be part of the democratic process.”

The vote centers will be open from 9am to 5pm Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 and from 7am to 8pm on Nov. 3.

Voters can also get a replacement ballot and change their party status at the vote centers.

Ballots sent via mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received within 17 days after the election. Ballots can be tracked at california.ballottrax.net/voter. Voters who want to drop off their ballots in person can do so at the Registrar of Voters’ Office or at one of the many drop off locations around the county.

For those who missed the voter registration deadline but would still like to vote can do so by filling out a conditional voter registration form at one of the vote centers. The process includes signing an affidavit of registration to confirm you are eligible to vote. Once the Registrar confirms an individual is eligible to vote, the registration will become permanent and the individual’s ballot will be counted.

For more information about voting, contact the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ Office by phone at (408) 299-VOTE (8683) or (866) 430-VOTE (8683).

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

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