Santa Clara County hits 1 million registered voters

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara County officials have registered more than one-million voters for the upcoming general election, which is the highest number they've ever recorded, and say they're prepared for a major turnout.

"We have implemented brand new voting equipment and electronic poll books, a voting system, (and) ballot on demand," said Shannon Bushey, the county's registrar of voters, who says she has spent the past three years preparing for 2020. "We have done every humanly possible thing to become more efficient and faster to getting our results in."

More than 83% of those who are eligible to vote have already signed up, which is 16% more than four years ago. Between now and November 3rd, voters can vote-by-mail or submit their ballot at a county dropbox. Those who want to vote in-person can do so at one of the county's 100 voting centers, starting on Halloween.

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"You can go to Levi's Stadium, you can go to SAP (Center), you can get online to the Registrar of Voters, they've got a list of every vote center, so there really is no excuse," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. "This is all about opportunity."

San Jose State University student Anna Verzosa, 20, is voting in her first presidential election and is encouraging more of her peers to do the same.

"Take that first step and once they do, they'll know how important it is, and they'll see it in the future," said Verzosa. "It's like, I was a part of this process... I was a part of shaping our future."

Although improvements have been made to the county's voting process through the implementation of the Voter's Choice Act, the topic of ballot integrity is still on the minds of some in various parts of California. The state's Republican Party says it will investigate any serious complaints that are filed on its website.

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"People are so concerned about it because of coronavirus and whether or not they're going to be able to get out, and how many votes are actually going to be counted on election day," said John Dennis, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party. "It's important that we sort these things out in the last few days before the election."

The last day to register to vote is October 19. Voters can register online at registertovote.ca.gov.

"Seeing these high registration numbers is a very good sign that the electorate, the folks who actually cast their votes this November, is going to be much more representative than in the past," said Dr. Melinda Jackson, political science professor and associate dean of undergraduate education at San Jose State University.

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