Democracy involves governance by ‘We, The People’ who believe in and practice the ideal of ‘one person: one vote. What is required is the engagement, involvement and participation of citizens of the jurisdiction in which you reside. TO VOTE IN THE COMING ELECTIONS, YOU MUIST BE REGISTERED TO VOTE (just phone 408-299-8683, Registrar of Voters, County of Santa Clara.
In California, precincts are defined by a Citizen’s ‘We Draw the Lines’ districting commission whose members may not be involved in politics to prevent any ‘conflict of interests’. The 2010 Census data is used to define precincts having fairly equivalent number of residents. For example, each ‘San Jose City Council District’ contains about 100,000 residents (total population is one million).
This 2018 year is a ‘mid-term election year’ so called because about one-third of the U.S. Senate and all 435 members of the House of Representatives are ‘up for re-election’ and each may be facing a competing candidate who, if elected, becomes the elected official representing that district.
Since many voters are not content with the current President’s agenda nor with the present legislative gridlocked U.S. Congress controlled by a Republican Party majority with Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. The Democratic Party, led by Senator Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has plans to ‘flip party control’ back to a Democratic majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The election of just two Democratic Senators must happen to give Democrats a ‘Senate Majority’ status. The election of 8 additional House members plus the retention of all 24 Democratic ‘House Representatives’ who are up for ‘re-election’ will be sufficient to have a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
That election process occurs Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election Day and then ‘run-offs’ are scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Election Day. It is the Office of the Registrar of Voters, County of Santa Clara (Shannon Bushey, ROV) which is responsible for all preparations and ballots required to conduct all elections within the County of Santa Clara.
Go to <www.sccgov.org/sites/ROV> to see all the information categories which are administered by ROV’s staff. New election results will be available online.
Categories of information available online include: a) Election Results; b) Find your Polling Place; c) Vote by Mail Ballots; d) Voter Registration Look Up; e) Look up Your District; f) Recall Petitions; g) SCC Vote Mobile Application; h) GO GREEN (opt to receive all information online); I) Volunteer at Polls and j) Events scheduled. Candidates may submit ‘citizen signatures’ in lieu of paying the required ‘candidates filing fee’.
One may learn who is an elected official for any and all school boards, City Councils, Board of Supervisors, and boards of special districts, e.g. Santa Clara Valley Water District.
A major ROV responsibility is the security practices required to ensure that the ‘election vote count’ is not vulnerable at all to hacking nor to any form of alterations which are not supported by votes counted. The public needs to know that no electronic voting device is actually ‘connected to any internet system; the central electronic tabulation equipment is kept under surveillance 24/7.
Every security measure is employed to ensure that the vote count reflects the aggregated votes collected, verified, and counted. Despite allegations of ‘fraudulent votes’ by then Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump, as a member, Voting Rights Advisory Commission, I personally have been informed in the past that less than 4 individuals (out of a total of about 875,000 registered voters) attempted to vote more than once; all were reported to the Department of Justice for legal action under existing laws.
The Kiwanis Club, Pueblo de San Jose (Tino DeLeon, President) has members become poll workers who contribute their ‘earnings’ to their club’s treasury as a way to ‘raise money’ and have participated in ‘citizen’s monitoring’ of vote counts.
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters administration has always taken all necessary actions to sustain the principle that ‘each and every lawful vote is counted; the principle and ideal of ‘one person: one vote’ is definitely sustained and conscientiously monitored during each election.
During the tenure of ROV Jesse Durazo, the Vote by Mail option was introduced. VBM will probably become the universal way to economize elections by not requiring the hiring and training of up to 5,500 temporary poll workers per national or gubernatorial elections.
These days it may be reasonable for the Board of Supervisors to assemble an ad hoc committee whose purpose is to review all security practices presently utilized by the ROV. Current practices may need some monitoring to undercut the future challenges by those who base their actions on ‘fake facts’. The accuracy and integrity of this county’s election processes must not be vulnerable to being undermined by anyone.
EO encourages its readers to learn about election processes at: <www.sccgov.org/sites/ROV> because if ever you decide to become an elected official, all the information you need to know is already there for your intake and review. The ROV general phone is 408-299-8683.