San Benito County was mentioned approximately 10 times in the first eight minutes of the Season 6 premiere of the ABC TV show “Scandal,” prompting San Benito County Registrar of Voters office to send out a press release reminding locals to get involved in the election process.
Assistant County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Angela Curro told BenitoLink that she heard from voters and community groups about the county being mentioned.
“I had not watched the show until last week,” she said. “We have no idea why they selected San Benito County. There is a rumor that someone from the show owns property in San Benito County, but we have no confirmation of that rumor. We were not contacted by the show or informed that our county was being mentioned.”
The episode focused on the selection of the next president of the United States.
“Every state had been called except California,” Curro said about the episode. “All counties had reported and been called in California, except San Benito County. The president, on the show, claimed to have spoken to the California Secretary of State and was informed that his former wife, running for president, was up by 2,000 votes. However, it was too close to call the state.
“Shortly after that announcement from the president to her team, the news came on and stated that San Benito County was ready to be called and that the other candidate won by 4,000 votes,” she said.
Curro noted that in a county of approximately 26,000 registered voters, “a swing of 6,000 votes is statistically impossible.”
In the episode, the presidential candidate — a former first lady —”stated that there must have been voter tampering and that a recount needs to be conducted,” Curro said. “In the end, no legitimate claims were actually made and no recount occurred.”
Curro said the Department of Elections “wants to reassure the voters and community that the voting process in San Benito County is very secure and we invite voters and the community to visit our office if they have questions and we are always accepting volunteers during the election cycle. We want to use the show as an example that every vote does really count and even in a small county like San Benito we could make the difference on the selection of the next president or any race appearing on the ballot.”
Local elections officials, Curro said, want to use the mentions of San Benito County on “Scandal” as a reminder “to register to vote and vote on each and every election held in San Benito County. If a voter has moved, changed their name or political party they MUST re-register. Voters can register in person, by mail or online via our website at www.sbcvote.us.
In its press release, the elections office said “Joe Paul Gonzalez, County Clerk Registrar of Voters, would like to remind you that the television series ‘Scandal’ is a fictitious political thriller, the views and opinions expressed do not reflect the official policies or practices of San Benito County. We are, however, thrilled to be mentioned in a nationally televised show, which demonstrated the importance of voting.”
The office mentioned “many opportunities” it offers to become in the elections process: “We welcome community participation in a number of areas: community and voter outreach, accessibility surveying, poll worker recruitment, and general election processes. One of the greatest strengths of our democracy is its active participants. Being involved in your local government is a way to serve your community, and ensures transparency, security, and the accuracy of the electoral process.”
For information regarding the Department of Elections visit www.SBCVote.us or call (831) 636-4016.
To watch the episode of “Scandal” in which San Benito County is mentioned, click here. Adobe Flash Player may be required in order to view it on your computer.