Decision 2020

‘No Party Preference’ Voting Concerns in Santa Clara County

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Some voters in Santa Clara County think they got cards by mistake from the registrar of voters. But the notifications are authentic and need their attention for the presidential primary election next march.

Anyone who received one of these cards may need to re-register in the party of your choice.

After the 2018 statewide roll out of automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles, some voters may have had their party registration changed if they skipped the party preference question, defaulting them to "no party preference."

Data conversion issues may also be to blame, according to a press release from the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters.

"Pushing the registration to vote is really important so if they're going to do it, they need to perfect the system and make sure everyone gets to choose what category they want to be under," San Jose resident Tiffany Brush said.

The DMV issued a statement, saying it is not aware of any large-scale issue with the new motor voter system related to party preference or voter registration, and that the DMV is committed to improving its processes and providing good customer service in all its programs.

The registrar of voters said it's a simple fix.

"If a voter has received one of the cards, a voter can return it to us and we will mail them the crossover ballot they specify," said Shannon Bushey, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

And voters can take care of their party registration when they go to vote.

"They can show up at a vote center and ask for a crossover ballot," Bushey said. "It really is very simple for people to get the ballot they'd like."

The office estimates it has contacted about 300 voters out of the nearly 300,000 Santa Clara voters.

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