Santa Clara County

Here's How California Recall Election Ballots Will Be Counted

Go behind the scenes with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters to see what security measures are in place when ballots are counted.

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California's gubernatorial recall election is on Tuesday, but thousands of voters have already turned in their ballots.

Meanwhile, unfounded rumors of voter fraud are making their rounds in some circles. So, just how secure is your ballot?

NBC Bay Area reached out to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters to get a behind-the-scenes look at how ballots will be counted and processed.

A team of two from the registrar's office escort the ballots to a locked, restricted room where only a few authorized people are allowed. The room is where workers count the ballots.

As the president and the governor make a last minute swing through parts of California, Republicans have been pushing allegations of voter fraud in this recall election. Cheryl Hurd takes a look at what has been unsubstantiated rumors of election fraud across the state.

"The ballots are always accompanied by two people," said Evelyn Mendez, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters spokeswoman. "Only certain Registrar of Voters staff have access to the room when the ballots are getting counted."

If a ballot has a questionable mark or signature, they go to what is called the adjudication room, where workers focus on the issue to make sure the ballots and the votes are authentic.

Like the last election, there have been unsubstantiated rumors of election fraud across the state -- rumors that are so far unproven.

How is your vote being protected this election? Registrars statewide are working to make sure your ballot is safe and it counts. Evelyn Mendez, from the Santa Clara County Registrar's Office has some insight.

Voter turnout in Santa clara County so far is at roughly 42%.

"Voting does make a very big difference, as you can tell from the close elections we had in the past," voter Joe Villanueva said. "Every vote counts."

Neighborhood drop boxes are also secured with a blue seal to ensure no one has tampered with it. Only workers from the registrar can break the seal to remove the ballots and they then replace it with a new seal.

"We've been busy," Mendez said. "We've had ballots coming in every single day. A lot of them coming in from drop boxes and voting centers."

The registrar said so far, there have been no reports of any major issues and are confident they have the security systems in place to keep it that way.

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