KGO TV: State audit exposes costly mistakes by Santa Clara County election office

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

An audit released Tuesday found the election office in Santa Clara County made numerous errors over the past decade and changes need to be made.

As a voter, you trust the registrar's office is giving you the right information during election time. But a state audit found 26 errors were made in election materials provided by the Santa Clara County Registrar's Office. In one case, voters were sent ballots with missing information. It proved to be costly.

"Due to staff error there was up to a quarter million cost to reprint and inform our voters about corrections that were necessary to be made and we need to be responsible with the tax payer dollars," said California Assemblyman Evan Low in a news conference this morning.

The audit shows numerous cases where mapping for the district boundaries were done incorrectly and that resulted in voters receiving the wrong ballots. Over a third of the errors included candidates statements and arguments omitted from voter information guides.

The audit shows numerous cases where mapping for the district boundaries were done incorrectly and that resulted in voters receiving the wrong ballots. Over a third of the errors included candidates statements and arguments omitted from voter information guides.

"Very disappointed in seeing such errors, I am hopeful and optimistic though that such highlighting of this report that we'll have specific guidelines and principles to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future," said Low.

As soon as the Registrar learned of mistakes, corrections were made. The audit says the problem is the Registrar's Office does not have written procedures to ensure mistakes won't happen again.

When asked about the audit, Registrar Shannon Bushey said, "I think they did a very thorough job of looking into our complex processes and they made 10 recommendations for our office that I think are very thoughtful and will be useful to us."

The audit found none of the errors had an impact on the outcome of any election. Now the Registrar's Office will work with the auditor and the Secretary of State to prevent future mistakes.