State Audit: Santa Clara County Elections Office Errors Reduce Voter Confidence

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

SAN JOSE—The California State Audit of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters released today found insufficient policies and procedures have led to errors that reduce voter confidence. Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) requested the audit in March of this year following a series of administrative errors, including sending out the wrong ballot arguments or missing information.  

“Our voters deserve an exceptional electoral process. It is our obligation to ensure the integrity in our democracy to maintain faith in government,” said Assemblymember Evan Low. “The series of errors made by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters threatened to undermine voter confidence. I am grateful for our State Auditor’s quick and diligent work to identify the root causes of these errors and provide suggestions for improvement in collaboration with the Registrar of Voters. I will work with the elections office to ensure they follow the recommendations in the report.”

The request followed a series of administrative mistakes at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters over the last few election cycles. These errors, which include sending out ballots with missing or wrong information, could have undermined voter confidence in the electoral process. The audit was tasked with assessing the degree to which the problems were isolated errors, or evidence of more systemic problems, and the auditor was asked to investigate the root causes of the errors, assess risks and vulnerabilities, and provide recommendations to help prevent future mistakes.

The report found that the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters had inadequate and often unwritten policies, procedures, and practices that have led to errors in election‑related materials and has not ensured that it notifies voters consistently and effectively about errors in election‑related materials. The full report is available at the state auditor’s website: auditor.ca.gov

###