VOTING UNDERWAY Gilroy City Clerk Shawna Freels demonstrates how to drop off a completed ballot at a box located outside Gilroy City Hall. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

Gilroy City Clerk Shawna Freels has certainly been busy with election season underway.

Her department has received many more inquiries compared to past elections, she said, with voters, and potential voters, asking where they can vote, how they can track their ballot, what they need to register, and if the drop boxes set up around the city are legitimate, among other questions.

During a span of a few minutes the morning of Oct. 12 in front of Gilroy City Hall, where a drop box is located, three people turned in their ballots, with one couple saying they decided to add voting to their morning routine, and another man asking Freels if the drop box was indeed real.

There is one message Freels sends to every person.

“Vote early,” she said. “Get it done. Make your voice heard. Don’t wait.”

Election Day is Nov. 3, but voters in Santa Clara County have already started casting and submitting their ballots, thanks to the installation of dozens of 24-hour drop boxes placed by election officials throughout the county.

Ballots were mailed to voters beginning the week of Oct. 5, and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters has installed drop boxes throughout the county. There are currently eight drop boxes in Gilroy and Morgan Hill, and Santa Clara County voters can drop off their ballot at any location in the county.

Voters in South County can submit their ballots any time before Nov. 3 at one of the secure, 24-hour drop box locations listed below:

In Gilroy:

• Rod Kelley Elementary School, 8755 Kern Ave.

• Gilroy Library, 350 West Sixth St.

• Gilroy City Hall, outside city clerk’s office, 7351 Rosanna St.

• Gavilan College (outside student center), 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.

In Morgan Hill:

• Morgan Hill City Hall, outside city clerk’s office, 17575 Peak Ave.

• Morgan Hill Library, 660 West Main Ave.

• Nordstrom Elementary School, 1425 East Dunne Ave.

• Morgan Hill Unified School District headquarters, 15600 Concord Circle

Those who want to vote in-person will have a number of opportunities to do so. Vote Centers open throughout the county from Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Per public health protocols, all voters must wear a mask and distance themselves from others. Masks will be supplied for those who need one.

Gilroy will have three in-person Vote Centers, which are available for all county voters. All sites will be open Oct. 31-Nov. 2 from 9am-5pm, and Nov. 3 from 7am-8pm.

• Gilroy Police Department – Community Room, 7301 Hanna St. 

• Gilroy First Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall, 8455 Wren Ave.

• Gilroy Elks Lodge, 2765 Hecker Pass Highway.

The last day to register to vote is Oct. 19. For information, visit

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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