Palo Alto sees more than 14,000 early-bird voters


As of last night more than 14,000 Palo Alto residents had cast their ballots, out of some 38,300 registered voters in the city.

That 14,000 accounts for nearly half of those who requested to vote by mail, continuing a trend in early voting that has been growing over the past several elections.

It is too late to mail in ballots, but people can bring them to a drop-off location or polling station.

In Palo Alto, vote-by-mail ballots can be cast at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., and the drive-thru location at the corner of Page Mill Road and El Camino Real (the parking lot of the Stanford-Palo Alto Community Playing Fields).

The drop-off locations are open the same hours today -- until 8 p.m. -- as polling stations for in-person voters.

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' Office is reminding mail-voters that they must sign the return envelope for their votes to be counted.

"Signatures are used to verify the voter's identity. If signatures do not match, the ballot will not be counted," the registrar stated in a press release.

The registrar also this year launched a free mobile app -- SCCVOTE -- with election information, including voter-registration information, such as current voter registration address; voter information and sample ballot pamphlet, which contains information about candidates and measures on the ballot; vote-by-mail tracking; and the location of a voter's assigned polling place (with driving directions).

To find the nearest polling station, voters can also go to

The endorsements of the Palo Alto Weekly can be found at The Weekly recommends.

More local election information, including videos, articles and links to voter guides, can be found at ELECTION 2012: Stories, editorials, videos and resources. Palo Alto voters are electing four City Council members and three members of the Board of Education; weighing in on Measure C, the marijuana initiative; as well as deciding on a county tax measure and state Senate and Assembly representatives, among other races.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Ronna
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

Dave Price from the Daily Post has written numerous times over the years that voting early is not wise. Citizens may not have all information needed regarding every vote that is cast.

An example of it happened during the last primary election, when one candidate removed his name from the ballot in East Palo Alto. People that voted for him early were out of luck.

Dave Price gave excellent advice, by repeatedly calling for local voters to wait until Election Day to vote. Ballots could be received by mail in advance, filled out and dropped off to any polling place, on Election Day. It's easy and convenient.

The Daily Post's suggestion about NOT voting early (unless it is an emergency, or for some other important reason) is wise. I'm glad I heeded what he said, and encourage others to give this thought too, for future elections.

Like this comment
Posted by vf
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

"Signatures are used to verify the voter's identity. If signatures do not match, the ballot will not be counted," the registrar stated in a press release.

And do you find out your vote has been rejected? Seems a bit hit'n'miss if you can send your vote in but don't know if it will be counted.

Like this comment
Posted by iVote
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

To find out if your ballot has been counted, you can go to the county's web site and click on "track vote by mail ballot." Here's the link: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by mom scribbles
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Nov 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Do they have handwriting experts nullifying votes?! I can't remember how I signed!

"Signatures are used to verify the voter's identity. If signatures do not match, the ballot will not be counted," the registrar stated in a press release. "

Has to be a better way to verify.

Like this comment
Posted by Ojoke
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm

It depends on who you vote for..And you know who is counting..:-)

Like this comment
Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Ducatigirl is a registered user.

I agree with Dave Price about not voting too early. But here is why I started voting (not too, too) early:

In 2003, I was diagnosed with a somewhat rare form of rheumatoid arthritis which affects my spine, pelvis, hands, and feet. It always affects joints in that pattern, that is its hallmark. During one local election in 2006 or 2007, and in the 2008 presidential election also, I had bad flare-ups of this disease which necessitated the use of a cane. Both times I tried to vote in the morning, before work, but the lines were too long and I would have been late. So, I went back in the evening after work, about 7pm, only to find the lines just as long.

Well, it was torture. There were no spare chairs I could use while I waited for my turn, so when the line I was in moved near a wall, I leaned on it. That seemed to offend people. In the 2008 election, someone actually went out to their car while I saved their place in line, and came back with a folding chair. I was immensely grateful, because by then the pain was intense and I guess it showed on my face. But no such luck in the previous local election; I had to just bite the bullet. When I got home I hit the vicodin and the ice packs for the next two days.

So now I do it all by mail. No pain if the election happens to coincide with a disease
flare. No giving up and leaving in pain because the line is too long. For me, and I would guess many other people, voting by mail is by far the lesser of twoevils.

Like this comment
Posted by get over it
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Quite the story. People were offended that you leaned on a wall? Hard to believe that there are long lines in Palo alto given the high percentage that vote by mail.

Like this comment
Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Ducatigirl is a registered user.

I leaned rather hard, it made a thump. I was basically on one leg at the time. Not nearly as many voted by mail then as now. Most people went before or after work.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Hoover School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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