Primary Election Ballots Are In The Mail: Here’s What You Need to Know

Election officials in Santa Clara County today began mailing ballots for the June 7 primary to the county’s one million registered voters, who will cast 2020's first ballots in local and state races and on some ballot measures.

The vote-by-mail ballots can be returned by mail, dropped off at any county Vote Center, or deposited in any one of 48 dropbox locations in San Jose or any one of the 55 dropbox locations in other cities in the county before 8pm June 7.

Elections officials reminded voters that ballots won’t count unless the return envelope is signed by the registered voter to whom the ballot was mailed, and the signature must appear similar to the original signature on the voter registration form.

More than 100 election dropboxes are open for business.

Ballots can be deposited in the dropboxes at any time. Click here for a list of ballot drop box locations.

Voters also can drop their ballots off at a Vote Center, where they also can vote in person. Voters can visit any location to cast a ballot.  While voters are not required to bring Vote-by-Mail ballots to a Vote Center if they prefer to vote  in person, it is strongly encouraged by elections officials. Click here for a list of Vote Centers.

Click here to track your mail-in ballot.

Are you registered?

The last day to register to vote in the June 7 primary is May 23. However, individuals registering or re-registering after that date, less than 15 days before an election, will need to complete a Same-Day Voter Registration process and request a ballot in person at the county elections office or polling location.

Click here to find out if you are registered.

Click here to find out how to register to vote.

The Santa Clara Registrar of Voters’ office released an Election Administration Security and Integrity white paper May 5 to increase public awareness of the steps the office takes to safeguard elections.

The report aims to promote trust in the security, integrity, and accuracy in the county’s voting process.

“We are committed to open and transparent elections, our doors are always open to observe election operations,” said Shannon Bushey, Registrar of Voters.

Bushey’s teams will collect ballots from drop boxes Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through May 20, and daily after that until 8pm June 7.​

Who are candidates

Click here for a list of qualified local candidates.

Click here for a list of legislative and statewide candidates.

Voters can find online a voters' guide and a sample ballot customized for their individual address.

Click here to find your voter guide.

Click here to find your sample ballot.

Voters are likely to find some surprises in their ballots because for the there are

new district lines for the city of San Jose, county Board of Supervisors, as well as state Assembly and Senate, and Congressional districts, based on the 2020 census.

The 42-page report is available online at

‘No Party Preference’

According to Proposition 14 passed in 2010, California uses a nonpartisan blanket primary for its races.

All the candidates for the same elected office, regardless of respective political party, run against each other at once during the primary. The candidates receiving the most and second-most votes in the primary election then become the contestants in the Nov. 8 general election.

But the latest registration statistics released by California Secretary of State Shirley Weber show the continued growing demise of the Republican Party in the state and the steady growth of voters who declare “No Party Preference.’ This potentially adds new measures of uncertainty in many races .

According to the April 8 report, the last before the primary, the total number of registered voters in California – 22 million – is a record, up by slightly more than three million, from 2018. The percentage of eligible Californians registered to vote hit the highest rate in at least 20 years, to 81.6% compared to 75.7% in 2018.

The county leads all counties in the state, by a significant margin, in the percentage of registered voters who stated no party preference, 28.3%.

Santa Clara County’s percentage of Democrats, just under 51%, was not among the 10 most Democratic counties, led by San Francisco with nearly 63%.

Here are latest registration facts:


  • Total Registered Voters: 22 million
  • Democrat: 10.3 million 46.8% constant last 20 years
  • No Party Preference: 5 million 22.8% up from 14.5% 20 years ago
  • Republican: 5.3 million 23.9% down from 35% 20 years  ago
  • Other: 1.4 million   6.6%

Santa Clara County

  • Total Registered Voters:  1,000,412 79% of 1,265,706
  • Democrat: 509,011 50.9%
  • No Party Preference: 281,290 28.3%, highest in the state
  • Republican: 165,686 16.6%

San Jose

  • Total Registered Voters: 519,706
  • Democrat: 268,801 51.7%
  • No Party Preference: 142,517    27.4%
  • Republican:  86,769 16.7%
  • Other:   24,199   4.7%

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.

One Comment

  1. Mass Mail-in ballots – what could go wrong?
    Never question election security,
    unless 104 mail-in ballots are found on a sidewalk in East Hollywood.
    Like today.

    The LA County Registrar’s Office is trying to figure out how a box full of mail-in ballots ended up on a sidewalk in East Hollywood. The discovery comes as the June 7 CA primary approaches.
    The 104 unopened ballots were found by a woman walking her dog last weekend.
    She took them home and called the Sheriff’s Department who told her to call the Postal Service.
    She did and then received a call back from the County Registrar’s Office.
    An official picked them up. The registrar’s office says it appears to be a case of mail theft rather than an attempt at election fraud.
    (KABC 790)

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