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County Encourages Early Voter Participation and Warns Against Voter Fraud

High Stakes in Election Underscores Importance of Civic Participation

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— County of Santa Clara officials are urging residents to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the November 2nd Gubernatorial General Election. “First in, first counted,” is the appeal to encourage early voting this year. In Santa Clara County, 67 percent of the registered voters have chosen the vote by mail option. Earlier this month, more than 500,000 ballots were mailed to registered voters in the county.

“So far, nearly 180,000 ballots have been received,’ said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “Many voters choose to bring their ballots in on Election Day. The earlier we receive ballots, the earlier we can report election results.”

“We want people to vote early, but not often,” remarked Smith, referring to the old ‘vote early and vote often’ slogan that denotes voter fraud.

The high stakes of this midterm election have resulted in a number of reports around the country of efforts to discourage voting or to vote improperly. Voting is integral to the American democratic system. According to the State Elections Code, anyone who attempts to fraudulently vote in an election, or votes more than once, or attempts to impersonate a voter at an election would be guilty of voter fraud, which carries a minimum of 16 months imprisonment in State prison, or one year in County jail. The same state imprisonment penalty applies to anyone who encourages or counsels others to commit voter fraud.

Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ Office will be open this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and a 24-hour drop-box is located near the flagpole. The location is 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2 (off Old Oakland Road), San Jose.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119
Elma Rosas ROV Media Officer (408) 282-3008
Posted: October 29, 2010