A flub on sample ballots for two school board races that were mailed to thousands of voters in Santa Clara and Gilroy was compounded when the printing vendor sent out official ballots repeating the error. In addition, most residents in the Santa Clara Unified and Gavilan Community College districts have yet to receive the correct ballots because the vendor didn’t send them out last week with the other vote-by-mail ballots throughout the county. The initial error, which cropped up just over two weeks ago, involved a mistake at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters that resulted in sample ballots going out which omitted some candidates and their statements. “That was a programming error on our part in the election database,” said Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey.
She explained that the computer had incorrect information about whether the candidates are voted for by residents in a specific area, or the entire school district. Although there are three areas represented, candidates are elected by the entire district. That, however, was not reflected in the material so some of the candidates’ names and statements only reached a third of potential voters.”We’re adding two more steps in the proofing process as a result,” Bushey said. Voters were sent a supplemental sheet with correct information after the mistake surfaced and candidates learned their names were not appearing in election material.
The cause for the latest errors wasn’t immediately clear, but Bushey said her office and the printing vendor are both determined to find out why and fix the problems. “It is correct that 78,000 ballots did not go out last week,” she said. “It got missed, and we are going to be talking about exactly why it got missed. They don’t want that to happen either.”