A November election rife with results delays and uncertainty across Santa Clara County is pushing officials to look for solutions before heading toward the 2016 election and to look closely at a dated system. “We keep hoping for improvements,” said District 4 County Supervisor Ken Yeager during a special committee meeting Jan. 28. “I’m hoping to do more than a tweak and to be ready for the 2016 election.” Election result delays–some of the slowest in the state–in tight races across the county had some voters and candidates on the edge of their seats. For the first time, 50 percent of mail-in ballots were turned in the day of the election, further slowing down the counts.
A Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website outage and news coverage of an IT manager that quit the eve of the election did nothing to help voter confidence.
However, the root cause of this perfect storm had more to do with an aging system and a need for more staff, said Shannon Bushey of the Registrar’s office.
“One of the reasons our election night counts are slower is because of the system we have,” she said, adding that ounting provisional ballots and mail-ins turned in at the polling places are especially time consuming.