Santa Clara Co. previews accessible voting centers for public ahead of March 5 primary election

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Santa Clara Co. previews accessible voting centers for public
Ahead of California's primary election, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters gave voters an inside look at what to expect this election season.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Ahead of California's primary election coming up in less than three weeks, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters gave voters an inside look at what to expect this election season with a media day that was open to the public.

Shannon Bushey with Santa Clara County's Registrar of Voters says the point of this is to encourage voters to make their vote plan now, ahead of Election Day on March 5.

And they want to show voters now, what they're doing to ensure a fair, accessible and transparent election.

Santa Clara County has spent nearly nine months getting ready, hiring more than 1,000 temporary staff to work in vote centers countywide.

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"There is a huge team effort. I work with people that are very passionate about voting and the commitment to our voters and accessibility, language services, just making it as simple as possible to get out and vote," Bushey said.

Bushey invited members of the media and the community in to her office Thursday to showcase just how accessible a vote center will be, particularly for seniors, voters with disabilities, and non-English speaking voters.

"We're doing demonstrations so that they can actually touch and feel the equipment and get used to it or hear the audio ballot, or increase the screen size on the actual touch screen if they're visually impaired," she said. "So we have lots of different methods to help people who might need a little bit of assistance."

She says you can mail in your ballot, you can drop off your ballot at any ballot box or you can vote in person at more than 100 locations countywide.

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Bushey says 23 of those spots open on Feb. 24 and 81 more will open on March 2.

"So everyone knows, every vote cast in Santa Clara County ends up on a paper ballot. We have proof of every vote that is in our results and how that was tabulated, if there's any question," she said.

But with 27% of Santa Clara County's registered voters not choosing a party preference, she says primaries can get confusing.

"If you're a non-partisan voter wanting to vote for Democrat, American Independent or Libertarian president, no need to re-register. Just request a crossover ballot," Bushey said.

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If you want to vote in the Republican, Peace and Freedom or Green party presidential contests, you must re-register.

"I don't care who people vote for. I just want people to get out and vote. It's been my dream to get 100% turnout. I'm still waiting on that dream to happen," Bushey said.

Bushey hosted an interactive voter accessibility workshop at her office on Thursday, where folks were invited to come ask questions and see a live demonstration of accessible voting equipment.

View a full list of Santa Clara County vote centers here.

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