One of the official Santa Clara County ballot drop boxes is located at the Morgan Hill Library, 660 West Main Ave.

Voting has begun in the Nov. 8 general election, as voters throughout California will receive ballots in the coming days—and can drop them off, completed and signed, at authorized locations now through Election Day.

Elections officials in Santa Clara County began sending ballots in the mail on Oct. 10. Also on that day, the registrar of voters’ office opened up official, standalone ballot drop boxes throughout the county where any voter can submit their filled out ballot before Nov. 8.

Voters can also drop off their completed ballots at the county registrar’s office, at 1555 Berger Drive, in San Jose; or return them by mail using the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope that is included with the blank ballot.

Elections officials are reminding voters to make sure they sign and date their ballots on the designated line before dropping them off or mailing them to the elections office.

In-person voting is also available, as of Oct. 10, at the county elections office, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.

“We’re urging all Californians to vote early this year. You don’t have to wait until Election Day because voting-by-mail makes it easy as soon as you get your ballots,” Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber said. “Every person who votes early will help keep lines shorter and reduce wait times at in-person voting locations on Election Day.”

Voters are also encouraged to update their status if they have moved their residence or changed their name or party affiliation since the last time they voted. Anyone unsure of their registration status can check the Secretary of State’s “My Voter Status” tool at

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is Oct. 24.

Security measures taken by elections officials to ensure the safe completion and return of ballots include specific types of paper and watermarks on the ballot; unique barcodes that election officials can scan from each ballot; and requiring signatures on all submitted ballots, says the press release from the secretary of state’s office.

In South County, there are eight official ballot drop boxes in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Any Santa Clara County voter can return their ballots to any of the drop boxes, 24 hours a day, before 8pm Nov. 8.

In Morgan Hill, drop boxes can be found at: City Hall, 17575 Peak Ave.; Morgan Hill Library, 660 West Main Ave.; Morgan Hill Unified School District, 15600 Concord Circle; Nordstrom Elementary School, 1425 East Dunne Ave.

In Gilroy, drop boxes are located at: Gavilan College Student Center, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.; City Hall, 7351 Rosanna St.; Gilroy Library, 350 West Sixth St.; Rod Kelley Elementary School, 8755 Kern Ave.

For early in-person voting, the registrar’s office (at 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2 in San Jose) is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm; and on Election Day, Nov. 8, from 7am-8pm.

The Nov. 8 ballot includes numerous offices for state, national, district and local offices, as well as seven state propositions. Some cities will be voting on local measures as well.

For more details about the Nov. 8 election and to make sure you receive a ballot, visit the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ website at

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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