By Robert Haugh
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara Charter Review Committee will present its report to the City Council on an effort to eliminate the right of Mission City residents to vote for our Police Chief and City Clerk.
The Committee is using data collected from a survey where individuals or bots voted multiple times and manipulated the results to support the Committee’s recommendation.
The Committee wants to change the Charter and have City Manager Jovan Grogan appoint a Police Chief and City Clerk instead of having them elected by Santa Clara voters.
At the October 17, 2023 Committee meeting, Assistant City Manager Cynthia Bojorquez admitted to the Committee that “if somebody wants to game the system, they can.”
After Santa Clara News Online reported on September 11 that the early survey results supported keeping the right of voters to elect Santa Clara’s Police Chief and City Clerk, the numbers suddenly changed.
Over 5,000 unregistered respondents voted in the survey. Those are responses that did not have to provide a name or a Santa Clara address to vote. They could be individuals or bots who voted multiple times.
The unregistered respondents/bots voted overwhelmingly to get rid of Santa Clara residents right to vote for the Police Chief by 93-7 percent and the City Clerk by 93-6 percent. That result supports the Committee’s recommendation.
They also voted overwhelmingly to allow the City Manager to make the appointment of the Police Chief (94 percent) and City Clerk (95 percent). That result also supports the Committee’s recommendation.
After questions about the survey by a few Committee members, Bojorquez admitted that the the unregistered responses had “likely multiple responses from individuals or bots.”
Below is a sample of the data of how the unregistered respondents/bots answered the survey after the Santa Clara News Online September 11 story.
The time stamps show that it was an organized effort to manipulate the survey:
The uregistered respondents/bots were completed different from the registered responses that included names and address info of the respondents.
Those 243 respondents wanted to maintain the Charter as is with Santa Clarans voting for the Police Chief (72-26) and the City Clerk (66-30).
Those results are almost identical to a June 2023 survey commissioned by the the Santa Clara Police Officers Association.
This is a developing story.