Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters urges patience as ballots are counted

Nearly a week after election night, votes are still being counted in Santa Clara County and two close races for mayor haven’t been decided in the City of Santa Clara and San Jose. 

There are still over 100,000 votes to be counted in Santa Clara County, but the Registrar says they have to carefully count each vote and that’s going to take time.  

"All hands on deck. Election Day we had 244,000 unprocessed ballots. Since then, we worked through Veterans Day and throughout the weekend," said Michael Borja, with Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Communications Dept.   

From 7 am to 7 p.m. staff members in Santa Clara County are working every day to process the 126,000 ballots still remaining on Monday.  

"If you see these blue header cards back here, everything is organized in different precincts. We don’t typically focus on just each city. Everything is in random order as we pull them out to count. It’s not so specific on the City of San Jose or Santa Clara," Borja said.  

Both San Jose and Santa Clara have Mayor’s races that are too close to call, with 73% of the ballots already processed. As of Monday, Cindy Chavez trails Matt Mahan by 4,256 votes in San Jose. Incumbent Lisa Gillmor has 571 votes more than Anthony Becker in the City of Santa Clara. 

"Another thing that I don’t think most people realize is there’s still a whole lot of manual labor that goes on when it comes to processing those ballots. A lot of those ballots in Santa Clara County, are where 87% of our voters prefer to vote by mail," said Steve Goltiao, spokesperson for Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.    

Mail-in ballots have to be physically taken out of the envelope by someone and then each ballot has to be checked for signatures and errors before being submitted to the counting machine.  

"Just be patient. Have faith in the process. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that every ballot is counted," said Goltiao.   

The Registrar says it has about 50-100 people counting ballots on any given day. They have until December 8 to get all votes counted and certified.