Hoping to bolster returns in San Jose's District 4 council race, election officials have expanded hours and ballot drop-off sites. They'll even offer a weekend drive-through for people to cast a vote without having to step out of the car.
So there you have it, no excuses—at least not about being too busy to vote.
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters will run the drive-through drop-off from 10am to 3pm Saturday and April 4 at the Hostetter Light Rail Station at Capitol Avenue and Camino Del Rey. Here's a map of the place:
Voting began a few weeks ago for the April 7 special election to fill the City Council seat left by Kansen Chu, who was elected to the state's 25th Assembly District last fall. The ROV mailed out about 28,000 ballots to residents who asked to vote by mail. So far, just 3,000 have been returned. About 69 percent of the district's 40,476 registered voters opted to vote by mail.
Anticipating dismal turnout—25 percent of registered voters and a 13 percent of the eligible electorate—the ROV has sent out reminders of all the different places and times people can vote. The office has also underscored the importance of these small local elections where a few people can shift the outcome.
“It is important for voters to participate in these local special elections because one vote can make a lot of difference,” said Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey.
Sample ballots mailed out last month include an application to request a mail-in ballot. That application is also available online or by calling the ROV at 408.299.8683. April 1 is the last day to request a mail-in ballot.
Any registered voter can cast their ballot between 8am and 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays at the ROV headquarters, 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, in San Jose. Come Election Day, the office will remain open from 7am to 8pm.
Voters can also mail their ballots or drop them off anytime before 8pm on Election Day at any one of 26 registered polling stations, which you can look up here on the ROV website. If returned by mail, ballots must arrive by April 10 and voters have to sign the return envelope themselves so the signature matches that on the voter registration form.
Here's the full list of places to return those mail-in ballots, including some open 24 hours a day until Election Day. Voters can track the status of their ballot online at www.sccvote.org or by using the free SCCVOTE mobile app.
Ten candidates registered for the District 4 race, though two (Thelma Boac and Allen Chiu) decided not to campaign. Here's the full list from the ROV, which includes Lan Diep, Manh Nguyen, Rudy Nasol, Khoa Nguyen, Johnny Lee, Tim Orozco, Bob Dhillon and Alex Torres.