State Audit trying to figure out why Santa Clara County has Repeated Election Errors
A state audit of Santa Clara County’s elections office was conducted due to the county being plagued with an excessive amount of mistakes over the years. The audit, requested by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), reviewed 26 errors that have happened from 2010 to 2016. The audit found that the county doesn’t have a clear plan or process to alert voters potentially affected by an error in ballot materials. It turns out that the county lacks detailed policies, which are employed in other counties, to prevent errors and analyze them fully when they do occur. State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote the following on the report’s cover letter,
Because some of the more significant errors Santa Clara County experienced were related to mapping and to inaccuracies in ballots and voter information guides, we expected to find that it had developed comprehensive policies and procedures to prevent these types of errors from recurring. However, it has not done so.
Assemblyman Low, who previously chaired the assembly’s elections committee, called the past performance of the county in elections “disappointing.” One mistake the county made was in 2014 when a ballot gaffe affected more than 415,000 voters. It turned out that a measure was missing the support and opposition arguments and the registrar sent out corrective materials, which was an expensive mistake for the county that cost over a quarter-million dollars. Almost a third of the mistakes made over the years have been mapping related. Hopefully the state audit will help Santa Clara County fix all of the repeated errors that have occurred.