Voting is underway with less than three weeks to go until the Nov. 3 general election, as residents throughout Santa Clara County have begun casting their ballots by a variety of methods.
From now until Election Day, voters can submit their ballots at any secure, official ballot drop box installed by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. There are four such drop boxes in Morgan Hill. Deputy City Clerk Michelle Bigelow said any registered voter in Santa Clara County can submit their ballot at any official deposit box, regardless of what city it is in.
There is also an in-person voting center at the Registrar of Voters headquarters, 155 Berger Drive, Building 2, San Jose. The center is open Monday through Friday during normal business hours until Nov. 2.
More voting centers will open in Morgan Hill and other communities at the end of this month, through the close of polling on Nov. 3. All county voting centers are also open to any local registered voter, no matter where they reside in the county.
Or voters can send their ballots through the mail, which election officials assure voters is a safe way to vote. Mailed ballots can be tracked online by the voter at wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov.
“It is safe to vote by mail,” Bigelow said. “If some of the controversy about the postal service has made you nervous, there are multiple drop boxes. You can drop off your ballot at any drop box in Santa Clara County.”
A drop box located outside City Hall, 17575 Peak Ave., already started to see a steady stream of voters Oct. 12. Gilroy resident Kim Standridge stopped by the Morgan Hill drop box early in the evening Monday to submit ballots filled out by herself and three family members.
Additional drop boxes can be found at these locations in Morgan Hill: Morgan Hill Library, 660 West Main Ave.; Nordstrom Elementary School, 1425 East Dunne Ave.; and Morgan Hill Unified School District headquarters, 15600 Concord Circle.
For voters who prefer to cast their ballots in person, three Morgan Hill Voting Centers will be open 9am to 5pm Oct. 31-Nov. 3: City of Morgan Hill Chamber Building, 17555 Peak Ave.; Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, 16970 DeWitt Ave.; and Ann Sobrato High School Arts Theater Center, 401 Burnett Ave.
Voting centers will be following all county public health protocols. All voters will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Masks will be provided if needed.
Bigelow also encouraged voters to check their registration status if they have any doubts. Voters can check their registration at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.
Although there is a deadline of Oct. 19 to register in time to cast a ballot before Nov. 3, voters can complete a “conditional voter registration” at one of the voting centers, Bigelow explained. This will allow the voter to cast a ballot, which will be counted after their registration information is verified by election officials.
Register to vote or update your registration info online at registertovote.ca.gov.
For more information about the candidates and issues on the Nov. 3 ballot, voters can visit the nonpartisan, nonprofit site votersedge.org/ca. This site is run by the League of Women Voters Education Fund and Maplight.