Public Comments (1-31)
Received Electronically and Registration & Elections Division Responses

Post

(1) Question/Comment from Twitter:
Here’s my comment on the @smcvote 2018 Draft Election Plan.

SMC should plan to audit a subset of ballots in *every* election and phase out electronic voting machines as soon as possible. https://gist.github.com/kevinburke/90a11f79e66c7d70c06e8bf17f37f85b … @SupDavePine @CaroleSanMateo 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Each election must include a manual tally of a portion of the total votes cast, as a means of verifying the accuracy of the system count. Section 15360 of the California Elections Code specifies how the tally is performed. Observers are welcome.

(2) Question/Comment from email:
Officer Church, Supervisors, other county officials,

I’m a Belmont resident and a software engineer with a focus on security. Companies pay me to find and fix software vulnerabilities in their products, and I have reported and fixed vulnerabilities in several well-known products.

I’m concerned about the continued use of electronic voting software in the form of eSlate and Hart InterCivic Electronic Voting System devices in San Mateo County elections. These systems have the potential to be compromised and have their vote totals altered or worse.

At DefCon 2017, a conference for security engineers in Las Vegas, over 25 different voting machines were present and all of them were compromised by hackers in some form. Many of the machines contained critical components manufactured in other countries. The odds are good that an attacker would be able to compromise San Mateo County’s voting machines in a similar fashion. Please read the following PDF summary of the results of that exercise. https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon-25/DEF%20CON%2025%20voting%20village%20report.pdf

A paper ballot system that is scanned by an optical scan machine is much less susceptible to mass compromise. Furthermore, it is the simplest to recount, as you have paper ballots that can be counted by humans.

I would also encourage you to consider audits after every election, where a subset of the paper ballots are counted and compared against the electronic tally. The closer the election, the more votes that should be audited. This matches the recommendation of Professor Matt Blaze to the United States House of Representatives last November. https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Blaze-UPenn-Statement-Voting-Machines-11-29.pdf

I would be happy to provide further technical and professional advice free of charge, and/or sit on any advisory boards or committees you may propose.

Thank you,

Kevin

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division takes the security of voting seriously. 

The voting machine that was compromised at DefCon 2017 had been decertified.  Attendees were unable to change votes on any of the machines and were unable to gain access to a system wirelessly. The participants were given unfettered access to the devices. This will not happen in San Mateo County under our security procedures.

We have security cameras and limited access to the areas where the voting equipment is stored.  All voting machines are tested before an election. Our voting equipment is never connected to the internet.  When the equipment is sent out to polling locations there are strict security protocols in place.  All items are sealed and the seals logged.  At the polls and Vote Centers, all voting machines are kept within view of the election staff.  Staff is instructed to report any suspicious activity. 

Each of our voting machines has a Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). A paper record is printed before a voter finishes casting his/her ballot. The voter verifies that the paper record matches his/her electronic votes. The paper record is kept with the voting machine. Before the election is certified, there is a 1% manual tally. During the 1% manual tally, we randomly select 1% of the precincts in the election and hand count all of the votes cast in those precincts including the paper records from the voting machines. The hand count is compared to the electronic tally. During the years that we have used Hart Intercivic, we have never had a difference between the VVPAT and the electronic tally. 

The Elections Division is currently evaluating new voting systems to replace the current system. We anticipate that the new system will be paper based with optical scanners. We will be doing outreach to the community to get feedback regarding the new system in 2019.

(3) Question/Comment from email: 
We have to devise a plan to make sure only legimate/eligible voters are voting. 

We can’t leave any opening for voter fraud.  To me this is the only way to increase voter participation. 

Registration & Elections Division Response: 
We follow the California Elections Code (EC) which has procedures in place to prevent voter fraud. Voter qualifications and registration provisions can be found in the EC under Division 2.

(4) Question/Comment from email:
Bradley from the SMC Union Community Alliance was going to attend today and isn’t able to, but sent me some questions he wanted to ask.

I wanted to give you a heads up on a few. Some may fit into your presentation and others might be asked by Thrive from the floor.  His list was more lengthy than this, so I’ll probably put him in direct touch with you for some of the others.

  1. Why is the public hearing scheduled at 1 pm, which will reduce public participation?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There were several considerations in the scheduling of the time. We will take your comment into consideration when we schedule future public hearings. 

  1. How did the voter turnout for the Nov 2015 all-mail ballot compare with previous odd-year elections?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Voter turnout was perhaps one of the most positive and extraordinary outcomes of the November 3, 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election. The election resulted in the highest voter turnout for a comparable election in over 20 years. Voter turnout was 29.5%, which was an increase of 4% over the 25.4% turnout in the previous UDEL election held in 2013. The impressive increase in voter turnout was consistent throughout the County in all population and demographic groups, particularly amongst youth and minority voters. 

  1. What are the voter center hours: 28 days out, 10 days out and 3 days out?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have added this to the Amended Draft EAP.

  1. How and when the voters who register from day 29 to election day will receive their ballots? (DR note: I think this is really two questions – when does the office stop mailing ballots out and how does Conditional Voter Registration work.)

Registration & Elections Division Response: 
Voters who register by the close of registration (May 21, 2018 for June 5, 2018 election) will receive a ballot in the mail. After this date, a voter will need to come to one of the Vote Centers to complete a conditional voter registration (CVR) and they will be issued a CVR provisional ballot at the same time.  

  1. How do these locations, primarily at city halls, meet the legal requirements “that Vote Centers and Ballot Drop-off locations be accessible to voters with disabilities, located near population centers, public transportation and near low-income and language minority communities.”

Registration & Elections Division Response:
City Halls locations have been selected by cities to be convenient to their residents.

  1. Why is the county proposing to use the Registration & Elections Division office as one of the three initial voter centers, and a 24 hr drop-off center, even though it fails to meet the county’s basic criteria? The Registration & Elections Division is away from transit, population centers, and away from low-income and language minority communities.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division location is just one Vote Center location. It has been at Tower Road site for more than 50 years and the location is familiar to many in the community. In previous elections, it had the most voters and the highest number of drop-off ballots of the three Vote Centers.

(5) Question/Comment from email:
I attended the Voter’s Choice meeting at the Silicon Valley Foundation today and found it informative and very useful.

Thanks to you and your partners for your presentations, q & a and breakout sessions (and the nice lunch). You have a daunting task to make the changes, make sure that all communities are represented, and that voters understand the changes that are coming.After reviewing the plan in some detail, here are some suggestions:

Locations: Include College of San Mateo, Skyline, and Canada College for Voting Centers and Drop Boxes. Young voters are very under represented.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We did not include Vote Centers at these colleges because classes end between May 19 and May 25. We will consider Vote Centers or drop-boxes at the colleges for the future.  

Include more drop-boxes not located in City Halls. Some communities are uncomfortable with going to a government office to drop off ballots.

Consider locating drop boxes in BART stations and Cal Train stations that people use every day.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will be adding drop-box locations in the future, and we will take your suggestions into consideration.

Times:Voting Centers should have some evening hours, even if it means opening later in the day.Ideally all voting centers would be open from 7am-8pm on the last 3 days to accommodate working people.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will take your suggestion into consideration in the future. The Vote Centers will be open on two weekends.

All public hearings. except one. have been during daytime hours, which makes it very difficult for most working people to attend. Schedule some meetings to inform the public at 6:30pm or later to allow them to be able to attend.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There were several considerations in the scheduling of the time. We will take your comments into consideration when we schedule future public hearings. 

Outreach: Contact major employers, such as Facebook, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, Box, Google (which has a large presence in Redwood City) to be able to present the changes to their employees.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added information on the Secretary of State’s “Democracy at Work” program for businesses to the Voter Education and Outreach Plan.

Put up signs and leaflets at the DMV.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for the suggestion. We will check on their policy on posting flyers and/or leaving brochures in their facilities.

Make sure that the ballot comes in an envelope with Ballot: Open Immediately—Do Not Throw Away in big bold letters on the outside, so it does not get ignored or tossed away as junk mail. Those who do not currently vote by mail may not be expecting it.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The envelope says OFFICIAL BALLOT – VOTE BY MAIL on both sides. 

If you want community groups to help get the word out, provide a name and/or e-mail address for your Community Partners list, so that they can be contacted by other groups working to help.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you. We have added phone numbers and email addresses for the Community Partners list in the Addenda.

Media: No social media is mentioned as a partner. Suggest that you contact Facebook and ask for pro bono or reduced fee ad plan, directed at San Mateo County residents. They may be willing to help since their headquarters is in San Mateo County.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
In the Voter Education and Outreach Plan, under Overview, social media was included. We have added “such as Facebook and Twitter” to make it clearer. We will be using Facebook advertising as part of our outreach.

Thanks again for an informative meeting,

Christine

(6) Question/Comment from email:
I attended the Voter’s Choice Act gathering yesterday sponsored by Thrive at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation offices in San Mateo.

After reviewing the information provided and the location of drop boxes and vote centers. I would like to make some suggestions as to locations of these two.

In Redwood Shores, you have no drop box location and your vote center is to be located at the County Office of Education.Since the Redwood City Library in Redwood Shores is a more visible and convenient location, I would suggest you move the vote center to the library and also include a drop box as well at that location.I doubt most residents of Redwood Shores know where the County Office of Education is located.Parking is also much more convenient at the library versus the County Office of Education.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Voter’s Choice Act sets out a number of considerations in Vote Center placement, including proximity to population centers, concentration of language minority communities and voters with disabilities, and communities with low rates of vehicle ownership, among others. We have endeavored to best place the 39 Vote Centers in accordance with these guidelines. While every city has at least one Vote Center, considering the smaller number of Vote Centers as compared to polling places, not every neighborhood will have one.

Based on the experience of the 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election, in which 97.5% of voters cast their ballot via mail, we believe the number of location of Vote Centers will be more than sufficient to serve the county’s voters.

In a discussion with one of your staff it appears that the Fair Oaks Community Center will be the location of the vote center.I would suggest that you also include that location with a drop box.Having a drop box located in Fair Oaks would be much more convenient for the residents.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Each Vote Center will have a drop-box.

Other concern was the discussion of having an on-line connection at each vote center to verify voter registration and to register new voters so they could immediately vote.I am assuming you have a plan in place in the event the system goes down for whatever reason, whether county-wide or at a specific location.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will have a back-up system in place for our connection to verify voter registration and register new voters.

Thank you for allowing my input. Michael

(7) Thank you for our County implementing the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) (Senate Bill 450).

This is the only true way to preserve our voting rights, who we actually voted for, and not have a corporation own our voting machines, and “democracy”.

We must have one paper ballot per one voter because the Diebold voting machines flipped votes in favor of GW Bush when people were actually voting for Al Gore for president.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We do not use the Diebold voting machines in San Mateo County. We use machines manufactured by Hart InterCivic and we do a random 1% manual tally to confirm their accuracy.Voters may also use the mailed paper ballot or ask for a paper ballot at a Vote Center.

Due to the “intellectual property” laws governing corporate rights, even our Elections Department could not get the actual votes.

Cynthia
South San Francisco

(8) The accessibility and convenience of Vote Center locations is key to the success of the EAP.

A mobile Vote Center would add value in a number of ways, the most important being easy access to voting in geographically isolated locations and underserved neighborhoods. It would also be a visible reminder of the election and the services available to voters as it moved through the streets — a moving billboard.  Publicizing the location of “Your Vote Center on Wheels” each day would be an excellent way to keep information about the election before the public.  And periodic visits to the county’s community colleges would encourage many more of our young people to participate.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We plan to have a Roving Voting station, and we will publicize where it will be located and when.

(9) Here is my feedback, instead of mailing you my forms in the Review Guide from Monday Jan 8 meeting in San Mateo:

1)  Re locations of drop boxes for Redwood City and other cities nearby: 

We avoid downtown RWC whenever possible, terrible parking, congestion, etc.So dropboxes would be of NO help to us there, and even for those who live closer to downtown, it would be easier to have drop boxes in more localized places.Woodside Plaza type of locations, where traffic is not insane and where a slow pace invites safe comfortable drop offs.I object to all the city hall, courthouse type of locations.Is this because nothing else would feel as safe from partisan tampering??Anyway, I think this idea loses appeal and actually pressures people to trust the mailmen who handle mailbox pickups.If that is unappetizing, the third option for dropoffs are the Voting Centers, clearly NOT at all convenient to neighborhood voting.

I feel that long term voters who love to feel the patriotism of going for years to their local precinct to vote are NOT going to be in favor of this change.It takes away the personal qualities of voting and instead increases the impersonal mailbox option over the other options.

I suggest local post offices for much better locations.By local post offices, I really mean the ones inside plazas, close in to groceries, drug stores, etc., in addition to main post offices.They would be inside the post offices, and staff there SHOULD be able to be impartial watchers of their dropbox.They are much much more local, tied to their neighborhoods!

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Voters can use the post office and street-corner mail collection boxes to return their ballot in the included postage paid envelope.

2) I have uneasy reservations, because this legislation does not address machine security, and it makes me feel that most stressed people will regard the election as not more important than other junk mail!!!.I hope it will increase voter participation by some amount and that as the years go by, people in California will trust their state voting system, despite the terrible distortions of the Electoral College System, the easy electronic hacking, and voter suppression laws where new ideas pop up almost every day for how to curtail voting by certain groups. I switched to permanent absentee ballot after the corrupted national presidential elections from 2000 onward.I thought we needed paper for the best highest integrity recounts.Now that I understand that machines that will be used on any kind of ballot counting, paper or not, this is again discouraging.But European countries and Canada and others just go with a paper ballot, nothing else, and human personnel at that voting place just sitting down and counting that precinct’s paper ballots at the end of the voting time that day.There could be several parties represented in the counting, recounting or whatever to make sure this is as honest as everyone can get.
So, can we shoot for no machinery at all in the future of California elections?IT IS CERTAINLY WORTH THE TIME TO COUNT PAPER BALLOTS BY VOLUNTEER STAFFERS FOR THEIR OWN VOTING SITES!NLTHING MATTERS MORE TO ME THAN HONEST CLEAN ELECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE USA, AND ENHANCING CALIFORNIA’S VOTING BASE IS VERY IMPORTANT, but does not guarantee system security enough.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There have been no reported security issues with the Hart InterCivic voting machines used in San Mateo County. Voters may choose to use the machine or a paper ballot when voting in-person. The Registration & Elections Division does a 1% manual tally before certifying each election to ensure the accuracy of the count

3)*************Please put on the address envelopes of every ballot that is mailed that people SHOULD NOT GO TO THEIR USUAL POLLING PLACES!!!!!!They need to understand that and have it repeated and repeated to them, as habit is SO great!Tell them right ln the outside of the envelope in big letters that WHAT THEY ARE HOLDING RIGHT NOW IN THEIR HAND IS THEIR ONLY BALLOT FOR THIS VOTE, NOT TO LOSE IT, AND TO JUST MARK IT AND PUT IT IN MAILBOX!!!All on outside!!.Inside, the other options can be listed, but it the voter just thinks that the envelope isjunk mail, we are all SUNK!

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The outside of the envelope will state it is an Official Ballot. If a person loses their ballot, they can have a replacement.

4) *********** About public education, community email lists should definitely include the Nextdoor sites, such as Nextdoor.Woodside Plaza site I use.Most every community has them going.I will post my own note there and will see what reaction I get.

In addition, I would post on the inside and outside of DOORS to grocery stores, drug stores, post office, restaurants willing to post, DMV and all city hall offices, willing churches, interiors of apartment buildings where mailboxes are found, all Trains, Busses, Taxi waiting areas, Airport areas, etc.
All the non profits should be notified, league of women voters etc.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We do not have the manpower to post flyers in every store. Many stores do not wish to post what they consider to be political.We have notified appropriate non-profits such as the League of Women Voters. During the All-Mailed Ballot Election in November 2015, only 2.5% of voters went to one of the universal polling places. The overall returns for this election were higher than any previous countywide consolidated municipal, school and special district election. 

Thank you for this massive effort to increase voting in California!
Martha, Redwood City

(10) WHY IS OPEN SOURCE NECESSARY TO REPLACE  ‘ SECRET / CORPORATE ” SOFTWARE FOR ELECTION SYSTEMS  ?

Although it seems elementary, some people are still a bit confused regarding why it is necessary to utilize public ” open ” software rather thanproprietary software for elections. Microsoft affiliates will contend there is no “big difference” .

This is untrue.A properly securable environment MUST involve software that is available for public oversight. ” Faith based ” software that can have bugs go undetected is NEVER appropriate .. even if part and parcel to a paper ballot system.Although open source is ” no panacea ” ( no one ever said it was ) it is NECESSARY for proper security per NASA- The DOD – and The Air Force, as well as almost ALL computer scientists.

The key is the ” first count “i.e. the initial count captured by the voting system process. With ” secret /private ” software that has built-in intellectual property barriers to public inspection, bad actors can insert ” bugs “which will likely go undetected. There is no deterrent to this bad action as the code is encased in a ” black-box ” for none to see. Conversely, with open source ” public ” software “, the code is available for oversight by ” many eyes on the code “. Indeed it must still be surrounded by a robust chain of custody, but the starting point for deterrent and bug removal is intact, rendering the environment much more secure and available to ” fumigation” toward “bugging”

Some corporate folks rooting for the retention of corporate code might state paper ballots with robust audits will cure the security issue regardless of which type of software is utilized . This Is false and misdirection. the fact is that if the first captured count– the initial count -is a falsely obtained count due to bugging, the audit count can be affected by bad action to artificially reconcile with the error prone first count. This might appear fantastic to some, but not to those that know about election administration. The fact is the chain of custody and storage procedures for ballots also needs an overhaul, and this is well documented.

Regardless, the point is, since open source is regarded as more secure – more elegant- and more defensible software – why would vendors fight so hard against it ?The reason is due to the fact public software is FREE. This fact, in the opinion of Microsoft and their allies ( Verified Voting etc ) coupled with the more efficient nature of open source, creates a situation to be stifled. The problem is that their” duty to shareholders ” disinformation campaign has predictably caused a severe national security crisis regarding US elections.

Recent testimony by academics and ” experts ” in front of governmental committees has intentionally omitted mention of the software element. This is a corporate agenda that must not be tolerated. By omitting open source from legislation and conversation, we are plating into the enemy’s hand. paper ballots and audits are good,but open source software is literally priceless when addressing election system security.

Here’s is former CIA Director Jim Woolsey making statement- 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/opinion/open-source-software-hacker-voting.html

Best regards,
Brent

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have reviewed Open Source voting solutions and new propriety voting systems. We have not made a decision on a future voting system. It is not a part of the EAP for June 2018.

(11) 1.Location of voting centers

Government buildings are not good locations.
Many voters are uncomfortable there and some of the proposed locations have parking issues.

Use where possible:
clinics,
libraries
community centers
schools: all college campuses should really have one if we want students to vote or perhaps have multiple visits (well publicized) from a mobile unit.
grocery stores

If needed use county funds and authority to extend the hours of public facilities especially libraries.

West Menlo and West Atherton have no voting center at all. That is a large voting desert.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
In past years, many of our county’s polling places have been located in government buildings, from libraries to city halls to a national guard facility. Our staff at the polls have always endeavored to make sure voters feel welcome and free to cast their ballot in privacy, regardless of whether their polling place was in a government facility, commercial building, or private residence.

Vote Center staff will only confirm a voter’s identity and eligibility when they arrive to cast their vote. Identification will only be required of first-time voters who registered online, and who do not have a signature on file. Vote Center staff will not question voters on other matters.

We hope that voters will feel comfortable casting their ballots in those Vote Centers hosted by government facilities. However, under the Voter’s Choice Act voters have a variety of options in casting their ballot, which they may do at any Vote Center or by mail.
 

2.. Hours of voting centers and drop boxes:
Much more evening and weekend availability is needed for working people.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Vote Centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on two weekends prior to Election Day.

3. Signage on election day:
All former precincts need giant bright signs on election day that tell their previous voters where to go.
There WILL be confused voters and the phone lines to tower road WILL be jammed.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your concern. We plan to provide information to former polling places, and we do prepare to receive a higher volume of calls each Election Day.

4.Transparency and public input
One public meeting during the working day Jan. 18 is not enough.
The deadline for public comments needs to be AFTER the meetings held for the general public

There need to be well advertised public meetings in the evening and on the weekend. There needs to be an advisory committee for the rest of us who were not invited to the previous two workshops held for 1.the disabled and 2. the non-English speakers.

If the only choice you give the rest of us is to attend one of those two established groups, then do it soon, not in March.

Provide an interpreter for any discussion led by Fred or conducted in Spanish.Out of Fred’s whole presentation I wrote down the words I understood. I got just twelve and some were repeats.

I once had a student with the same issues and only his assigned translator could understand him.

He was an excellent student but the translator was needed.

All comments you receive should be publicly shared unless the poster asks not to share them. You can omit the names.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your suggestions. We will take them into consideration for future hearings.

5. Use of resources:
In small group discussion I heard people who are concerned about communities who do not vote at a high rate advise spending resources on community workers to go door to door or to organize small groups rather than spending on media

6. Outreach:
Do not wait to be invited. Reach out proactively. Work with community groups, churches and schools through meetings and newsletters.

Reach out to voters in custody or felons who have completed parole
There needs to be a proactive and well developed and publicized plan to enable these qualified voters to vote.

Reach out to shut-ins, including those in care facilities, assisted living and hospitals. There needs to be a proactive and well publicized plan for this population

7. Equipment:
All voting machines can be hacked.
With proprietary software, the public cannot see if they are hacked.
I attended meetings in Sacramento and in San Mateo and heard the virtually unanimous opinion of manyIT experts: voting machines are not secure.
No exceptions.

Aside from issues of hacking, machines, both voting and tally machines, when produced and maintained by private corporations fail the test of transparent reliability.

Virtually all other developed nations use paper ballots, hand counted immediately at the close of the polls in the presence of witnesses.
Keep it simple and secure.

You did not buy those machines, so it is time to admit that they are not secure.

Let disabled voters who want to refuse all help and instead use the insecure machines use them but do not force the rest of us to vote in an insecure way..

[I am mobility impaired. I would rather be independent all the time but I ask for and accept help when I need it.]

8. Accounting for costs:
We presume this way of voting will save money.
There needs to be accountability for the cost or savings.
It is reasonable to spend any savings on making voting less confusing and encouraging left-out communities.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The County is required to prepare a report to the Secretary of State following the election and it will include cost information.

Gail
Menlo Park

(12) Dear Mark Church and elections officers,

The Voters Choice Act requires you to solicit feedback from members of the community.You scheduled three public hearings, two for specific communities and one for the general public.This last hearing, on January 18, is during the workday.Working residents of San Mateo County are unable to attend a meeting scheduled for 1pm on a Thursday.It seems to me that the feedback of working residents is just as valuable as the feedback of other residents.

I ask you therefore to schedule more public hearings, either in the evenings or on a weekend.In this way, all the residents of San Mateo County will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the EAP, as stipulated by the Voters Choice Act.

Sincerely,
Yedida

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your feedback. We will take your comments into consideration when we schedule future hearings. Voters were invited to submit comments via the web, email, fax, phone, mail or in-person.

(13) Name : Yedida
Comments :
Dear elections officials:

I’d like you to make sure the following changes to the EAP:

1. All comments such as mine should be made public on your website.
2. Please add more voting centers.There aren’t nearly enough.If there are an insufficient number of voting centers, there will be crowing and lines, which are an obstacle to voter participation.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
While every city has at least one Vote Center, considering the smaller number of Vote Centers as compared to polling places, not every neighborhood will have one. Based on the experience of the 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election, in which 97.5% of voters cast their ballot via mail, we believe the number of Vote Centers will be more than sufficient to serve the county’s voters. 

3. Voting centers open prior to the election should be open 8am -8pm.Individuals who work full-time are not able to take off work in order to go to a voting center that is only open 9am-5pm.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Vote Centers will be open the two weekends prior to the election for individuals who cannot come during the week.

4. Please add a voting center near Skyline College.It is a heavily-trafficked location, especially for young people, with connections to public transportation.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We did not plan to have a Vote Center at Skyline College because classes will be out between May 19 and May 26. We will consider it as a possibility for the November election.

5. Too many voting centers and drop boxes are at city halls.Certain communities do not feel comfortable or safe going to a city hall in order to vote.Please substitute city halls with libraries and other community spaces.In Belmont, for example, the voting center should be located at Good Shepherd Church.It is around the corner from City Hall and in close proximity to Caltrain.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are still determining three drop-box locations, and we will keep your comments in mind. Voters may return their ballot in a post office inside a grocery store or other retailer if they do not wish to go inside government buildings.

6.What is the purpose of your list of community partners?Will you be reaching out to these community partners for their feedback?You have not done so yet.As a member of People Power Belmont, I expect you to take my feedback into consideration.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added more information on the purpose of the Community Partners.

(14) The umbrella issue is the stated purpose of SB 450, engaging more people in our democracy, by voting.

An important step is engaging people in feedback on the EAP is to let people know that the County is implementing a new voting plan. A lot of people aren’t going to be drawn to commenting on implementation but if the Elections Office approaches it as a focus group, creating a safe environment for input and asking citizens to talk about why they do or don’t vote, people might engage. It would also help to offer food and a stipend. The focus groups ought to be held in neighborhoods and “run by” trained neighborhood leaders. Use some of the $200,000 plus budget for outreach and allow a couple months to collect/consolidate the input.

Some of the focus groups might “gel” and could be reconvened throughout the San Mateo County “test,” to motivate people to engage/vote, give feedback after the first election, about what worked well and what could be improved upon. Registration & Elections Division Response: In addition to the Registration & Elections Division, we are aware of discussions on the Voter’s Choice Act held by the League of Women Voters, People Power, Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities and Thrive, the Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County.

I’d love to be involved as a volunteer in an effort like this. It would have the potential for meeting other community members, building trust and comradery, as well as increasing participation and buy-in to making our County vibrant.

One other thing, I urge the Elections Office to place voting boxes where people are, in non-government locations, e.g. libraries, shopping centers, college campuses, on business campuses, like Facebook, Google, et al. They have everything else for employees’ convenience, e.g. gyms, childcare, medical clinics, etc.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Voters can use any of the 622 mail collection boxes on streets, at colleges and businesses, or more than 125 post offices, which include non-government locations in supermarkets and drug stores.

Finally, I urge you to make all feedback public so we who are engaged can see the range of opinions (eliminating names but including neighborhood).
Kit, Emerald Hills

(15) My comments and concerns on VCA as given:

Re: Public commentary

  • Make all comments available to the public on shapethefuture and other 

Re: polling centers:

  • Include as Polling Centers and for in-person voting:
  • Sm Co City Colleges: CSM, Canada, Foothill, this also enables Coast side voters easier access on the 280 side if they are commuting, also at Notre Dame de Namur

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Since local community college classes end between May 19 and May 26, we will not have Vote Centers on campus. We will consider adding for future elections.

  • Caltrain stns for drop off for thousands of commuters – realize there may be security concerns but not insurmountable
  • For Latin-x communities, eg North Central in San Mateo, include churches as polling centers and in person voting areas
  • Use local Senior centers for polling places and in person voting e.g. San Mateo Senior Center on Alameda de las Pulgas 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Voter’s Choice Act sets out a number of considerations in Vote Center placement, including proximity to population centers, concentration of language minority communities and voters with disabilities, and communities with low rates of vehicle ownership, among others. We have endeavored to best place the 39 Vote Centers in accordance with these guidelines.

While every city has at least one Vote Center, considering the smaller number of Vote Centers as compared to polling places, not every neighborhood will have one. Based on the experience of the 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election, in which 97.5% of voters cast their ballot via mail, we believe the number of Vote Centers will be more than sufficient to serve the county’s voters.

  • For disabled citizens who have may have trouble getting to the polling centers, transportation on election day-maybe a deal w SamTrans, Paratransit, Caltrain for free or discounted fares for disabled on election day?  Rides to polling centers or in person voting centers from Lyft? 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There are many voting options for individuals with disabilities, including voting by mail, using the Disabled Access Unit (DAU) in a Vote Center, using a personal computer, having a DAU voting machine or paper ballot brought to their location of choice, curbside voting or having transportation arranged through our office.

  • For polling centers open 10 days and 3 days before the election day, extend hours to 8p 

Though Vote Centers will close at 5 p.m. except on Election Day, they are open on two weekends prior to the Election.

Re: Education/Outreach efforts:

  • Train and engage SF Peninsulas People Power to assist with outreach and education efforts, as well as any/all political party groups to do the same throughout the county: DSA, DFA, SMGOP, etc. 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are happy to provide training to any groups who wish to assist with outreach.We will also provide an online toolkit.

  • Create a traveling group of trainers/educators to go to ethnic fairs: Lunar (Chinese) New Year 16 Feb 2018, Persian New Year 20 Mar 2018, Cinco de Mayo 5 May 2018 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We do have staff who attend fairs and festivals.

  • Send these groups to Google Facebook, Survey Monkey, Box, Franklin-Templeton, to proselytize VCA changes, and to register younger eligible voters, this effort would also reach under-represented Latino and Asian and youth voters  

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will encourage businesses to join the SOS Democracy at Work program to reach voters at their workplaces.

  • Target outreach and education to ex-felons and misdemeanants that are not on parole or probation to make sure that they are aware of their rights to re-enfranchisement, and the process to do so.  There are many misunderstandings about the process for re-enfranchising these citizens, and these must be addressed urgently.  Also what is the process for those eligible voters in the county jail? What is the accountability process for making certain that these citizens who are able to vote, do and their votes are taken to polling centers? Are eligible voters in County jail able to register to vote? Again, what is the accountability process? 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have provided information to the Sheriff’s Office to share with county inmates on their voting rights. We have added to the Amended Draft EAP that we will expand our efforts to reach inmates and former inmates through the Service League and the David E. Lewis Reentry Center. For more information, see the CA EC 18100. 

Re: Mail-in ballot design

  • The mail in ballot design should be clear enough to the voter so as not to be mistaken for junk mail, perhaps a prominent flag, liberty, voter box or some signifier that makes it clear that it is the mail in ballot. T

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The envelope the ballot comes in has the following language on both sides in large letters: OFFICIAL BALLOT VOTE BY MAIL.

Onward together, Regina

(16) Organization: ACLU San Francisco People Power
Comments:
Key Feedback Points:

  1. Make sure there is a plan to avoid confusion at the previously existing polling places, i.e. ensure people get clear information about VC locations, that they can use any VC, make it clear that previously existing polling places are replaced by the VC’s, drop-off boxes, etc.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will include information on Vote Center locations inside the Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet, with the Official Ballot and on our website. Information is also available by calling the Registration & Elections Division.

  1. Will there be an email address and/or phone # to use as a clearing house to contact for *any* issue related to Voting Choice – when in doubt, call 1-800-SMCARES or some such…..this is going to be a bit like people trying to reach the IRS before Apr 15, many people very confused needing possibly last minute help.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We currently have a trilingual tollfree phone line 888.SMC.VOTE and an receive email questions at registrar@smcare.org and registrar@smcacre.org. This information is included in our voter materials.

  1. Ensure underserved (poorer) and youth voters (or other historically low voter turnout populations) are given extra attention/treated equitably in terms of VCs.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Yes.

  1. Importance of making the simultaneous introduction of Same Day Registration clear to people (since that’s new too) and that people are able to do SDR at all the VC’s so they don’t have to figure *which* VC to go to for SDR, separate from ballot drop-off decisions.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Conditional Voter Registration was introduced in 2017. We strive to make Conditional Voter Registration clear to people.

  1. Unclear on how the community outreach partners will be leveraged.   Are grass-roots groups able to engage *ongoing* with the County to assist with rollout?  Is that possible, feasible, legal?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added more information on the purpose of the Community Partners.

(17) Zip Code : 94062
Organization :
Comments :

The umbrella issue is the stated purpose of SB 450, engaging more people in our democracy, by voting. An important step is engaging people in feedback on the EAP is to let people know that the County is implementing a new voting plan. A lot of people aren’t going to be drawn to commenting on implementation but if the Elections Office approaches it as a focus group, creating a safe environment for input and asking citizens to talk about why they do or don’t vote, people might engage. It would also help to offer food and a stipend. The focus groups ought to be held in neighborhoods and “run by” trained neighborhood leaders. Use some of the $200,000 plus budget for outreach and allow a couple months to collect/consolidate the input.

Some of the focus groups might “gel” and could be reconvened throughout the San Mateo County “test,” to motivate people to engage/vote, give feedback after the first election, about what worked well and what could be improved upon.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division has met the requirement of SB 450 to hold three public meetings about the Draft EAP.

(18) Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Election Administration Plan.  

Meeting with Mr. Church and Mr. Irizarry in December, attending the Voter’s Choice meeting on January 8  and reviewing the draft EAP, has formed the basis of this feedback from both the Belmont and San Francisco Peninsula People Power Groups, which includes more than 60 people.  I have included a summary of our feedback below, and have attached both the summary and detailed feedback on the plan in a Word document.  

We are looking forward to attending the public meeting this Thursday.We are very interested in greater participation in the development and roll out of the Voter’s Choice Act and share the desire to increase voter participation especially for those groups that have historically low turnout.We are hopeful that you will take us up on our offer of assistance.If you have any questions regarding any of the feedback contained in this email and attachments, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Regards,
Diane
ACLU People Power Belmont and San Francisco Peninsula

Summary of Feedback on the Draft Election Administration Plan (EAP)
ACLU People Power Belmont and San Francisco Peninsula groups

(19) Vote Centers and Drop Box Locations

Based on past elections, the majority of people will be voting by mail. Vote Centers will be used primarily by disabled voters, first time voters, and non-English speaking voters who may need personal assistance. Most of the Vote Centers and nearly all of the Drop Box locations are in government buildings. This will discourage many voters that have historically low voter participation rates, such as the Hispanic community, especially given the current federal immigration policies in place. Libraries, Community Centers and college campuses are a much better alternative and also offer the advantages of having better parking, access to public transportation and location familiarity. It is also very important to have the Vote Centers stay open in the evening.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We did not include Vote Centers at these colleges because classes end between May 19 and May 25. We will consider Vote Centers or drop boxes at the college for the future. The Voter’s Choice Act sets out a number of considerations in Vote Center placement, including proximity to population centers, concentration of language minority communities and voters with disabilities, and communities with low rates of vehicle ownership, among others. We have endeavored to best place the 39 Vote Centers in accordance with these guidelines.

Outreach

The current draft of the EAP is lacking a detailed marketing plan as to how the public will be educated about this change in voting procedures. The listing of Community Partners is insufficient as it does not specify how the Elections Office will work with Community Partners, what they are expecting Community Partners to do, what is the timeline or what materials will be provided to them.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added more information on the purpose of the Community Partners in the Voter Education and Outreach Plan.

There needs to be a calendar that clearly specifies when and where outreach events will be held, what groups will be conducting outreach, what type (publications, radio and TV, social media) of publicity will be done and to what audience it is targeted.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have updated the events we plan to attend in the Addenda and will continue to update it on our website. Most advertising will take place in the month before the election because that is when voters are most tuned in to election information.

Involve major San Mateo County employers such as Facebook, Google, Oracle SalesForce, Kaiser. Make better use of social media in the outreach. Snail mail postcards is no longer sufficient, especially if you are trying to get younger citizens to vote.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will encourage businesses to join the SOS Democracy at Work program to reach voters at their workplaces.

Community Involvement and Transparency

It is important that all feedback be made available to the public. In addition, many people may not be drawn to commenting on implementation plan through the web site or email. One public hearing held during the day is not sufficient to to give the public the opportunity for direct input and feedback. This is especially true since the details on the public outreach plan, which is critical to the success of the Voter’s Choice Act, is not included in the first draft. Would the Elections Office be open to creating ongoing advisory group that is focused on developing and implementing an outreach plan for all voters?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division has met the requirement of SB 450 to hold three public meetings about the Draft EAP. Due to limited time prior to the election, we will not implement this suggestion immediately. We will consider your suggestion for the future, but comments are welcome year-round.

Reducing Confusion
Make sure that the ballot is designed in such a way to it is not mistaken for junk mail. Use bold colorful letters and symbols and a slogan, like Mark it, Mail it, that is used throughout the outreach program.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The envelope the ballot comes in has the following language on both sides in large letters: OFFICIAL BALLOT VOTE BY MAIL.

At least a week before election day, former precincts should have large signs posted that indicate that voting is no longer held at this location and include where Vote Centers and nearby Drop Boxes are located.We will provide former polling places with signs.

Detailed feedback:

Location of Vote Centers and Drop Boxes

City halls are not good locations for Vote Centers and Drop Boxes.Many voters are uncomfortable going into government buildings to vote or drop off ballots.In addition, a lot of people do not know where the city hall is location and some of them have huge parking issues. Instead use community facilities such as libraries, clinics, churches, community centers and senior centers. Include College of San Mateo, Skyline, Canada College Notre Dame de Namur for Voting Centers and Drop Boxes. Young voters are very underrepresented so making it as easy as possible for them to vote will hopefully increase participation.

For Latin-x communities, such as North Central in San Mateo and Fair Oaks, include churches as Vote Centersand Drop Boxes

Consider using major transportation hubs at BART stations and Cal Train stations for drop boxes.There may be some security issues, but they are not insurmountable.

Voting Centers should have some evening hours, even if it means opening later in the day. Ideally all voting centers would be open from 7am-8pm on the last 3 – 10 days to accommodate working people. Not everyone has time during their work breaks to go vote.

West Menlo Park and West Atherton have no voting center at all.

Outreach – Public Education and Publicity

The primary focus should be on the third of the county who are not currently VBM voters in order to have the biggest impact. This can be geographically or by voter type.(language, age, etc). People who currently VBM probably do not need as much education because they +K60can either continue voting the way they have in the past.They are just being provided additional ways to vote, whereas other voters have to CHANGE how and where they vote. We will do additional outreach to voters who have not previously signed up to vote by mail. Non-VBM voters can still use Vote Centers if they do not want to vote by mail.

What is the timeframe for outreach?Is there an overall marketing plan listing activities, dates, responsible parties?A calendar listing all events and activities is crucial.The current listing of events is pretty limited.We have updated the events we plan to attend in the Amended Draft EAP and will continue to update it on our website. Most advertising will take place in the month before the election because that is when voters are most tuned in to election information.

What is the overall organization for community outreach?Is there one person/group that is providing overall coordination so we do not duplicate efforts or miss certain populations?

It is unclear as to what is the Community Partner list included in the EAP is for.It is currently just a long list of organizations, facilities, etc. How is it supposed to be used?

How are Community Partners contacted to get involved in outreach? If you want community groups to help get the word out, provide a name and/or e-mail address for your Community Partners list, so that they can be contacted by other groups working to help.

What materials are available for people to use in outreach and education?This would include presentations, pamphlets and other materials.Where can they be found?

There is concern about communities who do not vote at a high rate.Maybe a better way to reach them is to use resources resources on community workers or local resident volunteers to go door to door or to organize small group gatherings. To reach specific communities, the Elections Office could create a focus group, creating a safe environment for input and asking citizens to talk about why they do or don’t vote, people might engage. It would also help to offer food and a stipend. The focus groups ought to be held in neighborhoods and “run by” trained neighborhood leaders. Use some of the budget for outreach and allow sufficient time to collect/consolidate the input before a final plan is developed.

Do not wait to be invited. Be proactive. In addition to presentations, ask local churches, parent/teacher organizations, city recreation departments, community centers, to include information about Voter’s Choice in the newsletters they send out.

The County needs to develop a catchy phrase to develop recognition for the new way San Mateo County will be voting.Even something as simple as “Mail it in!”or “Mark it and mail it”,if used consistently on every mailer and media message, would be helpful.This phrase needs to be translated into multiple languages as well.

Contact major employers, such as Facebook, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, Box, Google (which has a large presence in Redwood City) and ask them to hold on-site forums where they can present the changes to their employees. Send teams to Google, Facebook, Survey Monkey, Box, Franklin-Templeton, to proselytize VCA changes, and to register younger eligible voters.This effort would also reach under-represented Latino and Asian and youth voters.

Develop eye catching signs and leaflets in multiple languages and post them at places where people congregate like shopping centers, Starbucks/Peet’s, transportation hubs, etc.Include at government offices as well such as the DMV.
Train and engage local People Power and League of Women Voters to assist with outreach and education efforts, as well as any/all political party groups to do the same throughout the county.Identify any Get Out the Vote efforts and make sure the people running those campaigns are fully knowledgeable of the Voter’s Choice Act rollout and can educate new registered voters as to how and when to vote.

Create a traveling group of trainers/educators to go to ethnic fairs including:
Lunar (Chinese) New Year 16 Feb 2018
Persian New Year 20 Mar 2018
Cinco de Mayo 5 May 2018

Target outreach and education to former felons who have completed parole to make sure that they are aware of their rights to re-enfranchisement, and the process to do so.There are many misunderstandings about the process for re-enfranchising these citizens, and these must be addressed urgently.

Also what is the process to get eligible people currently in the county jail registered to vote and obtaining their ballots?If ballots go to their place of residence, how can they get them redirected to the county jail?How do they turn in their ballots?What language or disability assistance is available to them in the county jail?

Social media:
No social media is mentioned as a partner. Suggest that you contact Facebook and ask for pro bono or reduced fee ad plan, directed at San Mateo County residents. They may be willing to help since their headquarters is in San Mateo County.
Use social media aggressively to get the word out.Use text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, to reach voters, especially the younger voters.Don’t rely solely on “snail mail” postcards.

Transparency and public input
All comments you receive should be publicly shared unless the poster asks not to share them. You can omit the names to protect people’s’ privacy.Make all comments available to the public on www. Shapethefuture.

All public hearings except one have been during daytime hours, which makes it very difficult for most working people to attend. One public meeting during the working day Jan. 18 is not enough. Schedule some meetings to inform the public at 6:30pm or later so more people are to be able to attend.

There needs to be an advisory committee for the rest of us who were not invited to the previous two workshops held for the disabled and the non-English speakers Support and Tools for voters with disabilities

For disabled citizens who have may have trouble getting to the polling centers, transportation on election day-maybe a deal w SamTrans, Paratransit, Caltrain for free or discounted fares for disabled on election day?Rides to polling centers or in person voting centers from Lyft or Uber?

It is important to educate public and community partners about the availability of Mobile Vote by Mail (where the goes to voter), Accessible VBM (ballot online, results mailed) Roving vote centers.

Language assistance

How is it determined what languages and what type of assistance is provided at each vote center?

Is this an area where volunteers can be useful?

Miscellaneous comments

There WILL be confused voters and the phone lines to the County Elections Office WILL be jammed. All former precincts need giant bright signs on and before election day that give them the locations of where they can vote.

With increase in VBM, what steps are being taken to ensure that all ballots are counted? How do people learn that their ballot is rejected due to signature verification in a timely manner?Will they have the opportunity to get their ballot verified?What is the process for doing so?Will signatures be reviewed upon receipt rather than waiting for election day?
We need to publicize that same day registration/voting is available at vote centers.

The mail in ballot design should be clear enough to the voter so as not to be mistaken for junk mail,. Make sure that the ballot comes in an envelope with Ballot: Open Immediately—Do Not Throw Away in big bold colorful letters on the outside, or perhaps a prominent flag, liberty, voter box or some other signifier that makes it clear that it is the mail in ballot so it does not get ignored or tossed away as junk mail. Those who do not currently vote by mail may not be expecting it.

(20) Name : brent
Zip Code : 94019
Organization : National Association of Voting Officials

Comments :
This plan is not currently acceptable as it will result in the disenfranchisement of voters within under-served communities. The plan has apparently been formulated by vendors putting their business interests ahead of the citizenry without proper regard for the foundation of our democracy. If the intent is truly to increase voter participation, the plan would add voting centers to existing poll sites rather than closing down poll sites. The burden on those without access to transportation will be a veritable poll tax and the suggested methods of a ” roaming voting bus ” seems insufficient at best. Those most vulnerable to disenfranchisement will be the ones most greatly adversely affected.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Draft EAP and Amended Draft EAP have been developed by the County’s Registration & Elections Division. While there are fewer Vote Centers than past Election Day polling places, the Vote Centers will be open for many additional days to accommodate voters.

The act is being advertised as a security benefit but does not address software security issues.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Hart InterCivic e-Slate is not connected to the internet.

It also does not address issues surrounding signature matches.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The signatures of vote by mail envelopes are compared to voter registration records.

Also,the placement planning of the ” voting centers ” is dubious, especially in the coastal regions.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Voter’s Choice Act sets out a number of considerations in Vote Center placement, including proximity to population centers, concentration of language minority communities and voters with disabilities, and communities with low rates of vehicle ownership, among others. We have endeavored to best place the 39 Vote Centers in accordance with these guidelines. While every city has at least one Vote Center, considering the smaller number of Vote Centers as compared to polling places, not every neighborhood will have one. Based on the experience of the 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election, in which 97.5% of voters cast their ballot via mail, we believe the location of Vote Centers will be more than sufficient to serve the county’s voters.

Lastly, the outreach campaign as planned is insufficient.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The details of the County’s outreach campaign are still being finalized. While outreach has already begun, the emphasis will be on providing voters with information in the month before the election.

(21) Name : Steven
Zip Code : 94061-3930
Organization : NA

Comments :
what provisions have been made to protect the integrity of the mail in ballots?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The County will follow its current procedures to protect the integrity of the Vote by Mail ballots. There has not been a previous issue. Information on requirements can be found in CA EC 15100.

I am increasingly concerned about outside organizations interfering with the voter registration process, particularly if online voting becomes available. What provisions are in place to protect voter identification, party-identification and same-day registrants from fraudulent registrations.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There will not be any online voting for the June election. We follow the California Elections Code (EC) which has procedures in place to prevent voter fraud. Voter qualifications and registration provisions can be found in the EC under Division 2.

Will voters by mail have the same access to confirmation of ballot mailing (out) and reception (in) as currently. Is there a mechanism to confirm that the ballot has been counted (after receipt) and what is the deadline for this? 30 days? Earlier or later than this?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Yes, vote by mail voters will still be able to confirm their ballot was mailed, received and counted by phone or through our website. Whether the vote has been counted or not, per CA EC 3019.5., will be available upon completion of the official canvass for 30 days.

Who will be working at the election centers? What types of training will these individuals receive?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
County seasonal employees will be working at Vote Centers. They will receive a minimum of 16 hours of in-person training on their duties.

How can I be considered for working at the election centers?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Vote Center positions are posted on the County’s employment website at http://jobs.smcgov.org/jobs.

How will the dropboxes be secured? What happens if one is removed/stolen? How will voters know if this has occurred and if their ballot was lost?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Inside drop-boxes are visible to Vote Center representatives, City Hall or County staff.They will also be locked to a building element. Outside drop-boxes will be securely bolted to the ground.

The authorities would be notified of a theft of a drop-box because this is a serious crime. It would be reported in the media for the public. If a person dropped their vote by mail ballot in a box that went missing, they could cast a ballot at a Vote Center or if it was at least seven days prior to the election, we would mail a replacement ballot. If the drop-box was located, we would not count the original vote from any voter who had cast a replacement.

(22) Attached [below] are feedback comments from a community town hall regarding the Draft EAP hosted by OCA San Mateo County Chapter.

Chris Bush
President, OCA San Mateo County
Date:January 11, 2018; 7-8:30pm
Location:San Mateo Senior Center
Host:OCA, San Mateo County Chapter

OCA, San Mateo County Chapter is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group.We have 4 chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area and headquartered in Washington DC.We advocate for Asian Pacific Americans by advancing their political, economic and social wellbeing.
We hope to collaborate with the elections office in the future.  We held a town hall to discuss the EAP and our feedback included the following.

DROP BOX LOCATION/VOTE CENTER LOCATIONS:
These are locations our community members suggested that would be good locations to keep and or include.

  • San Mateo County Library at 3rd/El Camino as a Vote Center or Drop Box
  • College of San Mateo and the Farmer’s Market would be an ideal location due to the concentration of people in one area
  •  Employment Centers, near high tech businesses
  • Library in Millbrae/instead of City Hall; less intimidating

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Voter’s Choice Act sets out a number of considerations in Vote Center placement, including proximity to population centers, concentration of language minority communities and voters with disabilities, and communities with low rates of vehicle ownership, among others. We have endeavored to best place the 39 Vote Centers in accordance with these guidelines.

While every city has at least one Vote Center, considering the smaller number of Vote Centers as compared to polling places, not every neighborhood will have one. Based on the experience of the 2015 All-Mailed Ballot Election, in which 97.5% of voters cast their ballot via mail, we believe the location of Vote Centers will be more than sufficient to serve the county’s voters.

COMMUNITY LEADERS TO INCLUDE:
These are community leaders that community members suggested to add to maximize outreach.

  • Kimochi Senior Citizen Living in San Mateo
  • Rotary Clubs; Foster City, Belmont
  •  San Mateo Chamber of Commerce
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • AARP• Pilgrim Baptist Church
  • St. James AME Church
  • Universal Unitarian Church
  • Local minority owned businesses
  • San Mateo the NAACP feels that it would be wise to reach out to NAACP branches in San Francisco and San Jose.The three branches collaborate when possible on important matter such as voting changes

UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS TO INCLUDE:
This is an event that we noticed was not included in the upcoming community events.

  • Redwood City LNY Celebration; Feb 24th

MEDIA PARTNERS:
Some suggested media partners for furthering the outreach effort are the following.

  • Real Estate magazine
  • Radio Show, in Spanish Language (Burlingame)
  • Social Media
  • Women’s March advertisement
  • SF Examiner Sunday Special
  • El Show de Paula Maruri
  • Local “Patch” online newspapers

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will review the additional community leaders, events and media suggested. If we do not have an organization on the Community Partners list or on the Media list, we also welcome these organizations to contact us.

PHONE BANK VOTERS:
Our community members suggested that the election office consider doing phone banking as a form of outreach to educate voters about the change.

  • Assisted Living Facilities outreach

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for the suggestion on phone outreach.

(23) Name : Kathy
Zip Code : 94403
Organization :

Comments :
Addressing disparities- request to include the following agencies:
-  Office of immigrant support and coordination
-  Behavioral health department Health Equity Initiatives and Office of Diveristy and Equity

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have contacted the offices you suggested and have offered to provide training or give a presentation.

How will county staff be informed of the availability of education and training?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Secretary of State has provided information on the VCA in an update to NVRA agency coordinators and NVRA agency staff.

(24) To whom it may concern:
I’m a Belmont resident and a professional software security consultant. I would like to draw attention to this line in the Draft EAP:

At each Vote Center, a network of personal computers will be linked to the County’s Election Management System (EMS) through a secure connection.
Can you elaborate on the layout for these personal computers? I am worried about the potential for compromise of the county’s voter file, or of the voting machines. I can point you to resources but there is a lot of evidence out there that suggests resources like these are trivially compromised.

- Are these the personal computers of election day volunteers? If so, what steps are taken to ensure that the volunteers machines or web browsers are not compromised, or that malicious actors are not signing up to administer the election?

- Are these machines connected to the Hart InterCivic or eSlate voting devices? This would provide an avenue for remote compromise.

- Can these machines make connections to the broader Internet, or can they only access the County EMS?

- Do these machines have write permission to the County EMS? In other words, can they modify data in the EMS, or only read it? I would appreciate some sort of architecture diagram here, as the system may be designed to be read-only for polite users, but allow malicious users to write bad data to the system. Read only access would be best, especially if the data accessible via the EMS is a read-only copy of the County voter file, and the actual file that gets written to is stored in a completely separate, offline location.

- Can you plug a USB stick or an Ethernet cable into these machines? This adds to the potential for compromise. I would hope any USB connections to the devices would be bricked or covered with concrete.

- How easy would it be for one of these computers to extract the entire voter file?

- What is the procedure for monitoring for security updates to the software running on these machines and on the County’s EMS software? How are software updates applied? How long does it take from notification of a security update, to actually patching the computers or the County EMS?

- Do these machines expose a web server to the Internet? If so, are these servers and/or the wifi networks password protected, and if so, what are the requirements for password security? At the very least, it would be good to know that they are not using a default password like “admin.”

Answers to these questions will help determine the County’s risk of software compromise, and on the flip side, the security and safety of the County’s election system.

Unfortunately, I cannot attend the meeting in person on Thursday but I hope you will give these comments due consideration.

Thanks, Kevin

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Hart InterCivic equipment is never connected to the County network or the internet.

All new staff are fingerprinted and background checked and go through security training.

All servers are located behind the county data center firewall which is constantly monitored and patched by a 24-hour network operations center.

Laptops will be purchased for use only at Vote Centers. Each laptop will login to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) via a username and password. The VPNs will create private, encrypted connections from the Vote Center to the County network. After the VPN connection is created, a user must log on to the County network using another unique username and password.

Once connected, three of the laptops will only have access to EIMS and the other one will only be able to access the SOS’s website for on-line voter registration. Other websites will be blocked.

Vote Centers will not have access to the full EIMS applications. A “light” browser-based application will be used at the Vote Centers. This means that users will be limited in what they can access and change. Users will not be able to download the entire voter registration database.

All unused port and connections on the laptops and other devices will be sealed and/or blocked from use. Laptops will be sealed with tamper evidence seals when not in use and stored in a secure location overnight.

(25) Hello, I have reviewed the EAP and have some questions and comments.

Why is the public hearing being held during the day. Many people interested in attending work. Please schedule another hearing.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There were many factors in the scheduling of the Public Hearing. Voters were welcome to provide comments via email, mail, fax, phone or in-person. We did hold the required three public meetings.

We will take your feedback into consideration for future hearings.

Location of the drop boxes seem to primarily be in some sort of government buildings.

Many people are hesitant to enter government buildings particularly in light of the current administrations policy of immigration.

Locate boxes in community centers, libraries, near supermarkets, public transportation centers- where people go on a regular basis.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Government buildings provide security for the drop-boxes. We are still determining locations for three drop-boxes, and we will take your comments into consideration.

Voting centers and disabilities
How will the location of these centers be publicized?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Vote Center addresses will be in the Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet and with the Official Ballot mailing.The addresses will also be on our website.

How will language translation availability be chosen?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will recruit a Spanish speaker and Chinese speaker for each Vote Center. Vote Centers in or near precincts where 3% of the voters speak Filipino and/or Korean, we will also recruit staff who speak these languages. If the County is unable to find staff who speak any of these languages and meet other job requirements, we will provide language assistance by phone.

Will there be disability parking?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There will be identified disabled person parking at each Vote Center.

Will transportation for the disabled be provided?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
If a disabled voter wishes to go in-person to a Vote Center and needs transportation, the Registration & Elections Division will make arrangements.

Please post community questions and answers to allow the public access.

Susan
San Carlos resident.

(26) To Whom It May Concern at San Mateo County Elections Office,
Hello, My name is Charles, representing Migrante Northern San Mateo County (Migrante NSMC). We wanted to provide feedback for the EAP and attached is our letter.

Thank you for taking the time to read our feedback and please feel free to contact myself if you have any questions or need further clarification from the letter.

Sincerely,
Charles

January 17, 2018
San Mateo County Elections Office 40 Tower Road
San Mateo, CA 94402

To Whom it May Concern at San Mateo County Elections Office,

We are writing on behalf of Migrante Northern San Mateo County (Migrante NSMC), a migrant workers’ grassroots organization that advocates for our rights and welfare in the United States and part of the broader community of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s). We believe in protecting and advancing the rights and welfare of Filipinos and all community members by fighting for social, economic and racial equality. Standing side by side, Migrante NSMC builds with workers to share their voice and address their concerns & issues.

Our members were able to discuss the EAP (Election Administration Plan) and wanted to provide the following feedback based on our experiences working with the community. Thank you for taking the time to read our feedback and please feel free to contact us. LAAC Feedback Considering the diversity of our voters and the opportunity to get more community members to understand the election process as well as be well informed to make their election vote, a LAAC is very important to have. We appreciate there are other languages being representation (Spanish and Chinese dialects), but noticed potentially there is not a member from the Filipino-American community. According to the 2010, US Census Filipinos make up 33% of Daly City and almost 10% of San Mateo County’s population respectively. Thus, we feel it would be a vital resource to and would strengthen LAAC’s representation. If it would be helpful, Migrante NSMC could assist in finding a community member who can be on the LAAC provided someone from the elections office can explain what the time commitment and other responsibilities that are required.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division will contact you for assistance in finding a community member who speaks Filipino/Tagalog to join the LAAC.

Voter Center Location (VCL) feedback

• For the 10 days before locations: We are concerned about the Daly City Hall location since local residents might feel uncomfortable in such a setting given the recent national and political attacks on the immigrant population and ICE raids. A suggestion for another VCL could be Gellert Clubhouse/Park which is easily accessible for public transportation and has parking spots.

• For the 3 days before location: We feel that Marchbank Park would be difficult because of the traffic congestion on a small busy community street (parking), as well the limited accommodation (only 49 max capacity). An alternative location to Marchbank Park could be at Westlake location because it is accessible for those with disabilities, family, and transportation needs. We affirm that Holy Child St. Martin is a good site accessible for community members and has ample parking.

• Other VCL Feedback o For the Operations Center in Colma, this name might be confusing so please be clear in terms of where voters can go if this is a site o Schools, churches, and community centers are all good ideas for voting centers and appreciate the variety in the VCL list. o Reviewing the San Mateo County geographic map, and for locations with limited VACs, it is good to have places in between such as La Honda to reach voters.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have cancelled plans to use Marchbank Park as a Vote Center and plan to use the Gellert Park Clubhouse.

Outreach Suggestions Other community partner suggestions because of their reach and involvement with the community could Westlake School of Performing Arts, 200 Northgate Ave, Daly City, CA 94015, (650) 757-1244, and Faith in Action 1336 Arroyo Avenue San Carlos, CA 94070.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We welcome these organizations to contact us if they would like a presentation or training.

For Filipino American News Outlets, we recommend contacting:

  • ABS-CBN (tv),
  • Newspapers
    • Manila Mail: (650) 992-5474; 333 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015
    • Asian Journal: http://asianjournal.com/news/us/northern-california/ 
    • Fil Am Star (SF): https://filamstar.com/contact-us/  
    • Inquirer (Daly City): http://services.inquirer.net/contactus/    Events Feedback

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added these news outlets to our media list.

Our main question would be what happens at these outreaching events and what would be the plan in reaching out to the community? Other than that, it might be a good idea to outreach at these events:

  • Fun, Health, and Safety Fair on Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Serramonte Center. There are many community residents in San Mateo County who visit the stores in general but then will also be accessing community services at this event.  
  • During April 2018, Family Literacy Days and Kindergarten Readiness Events at Jefferson Elementary School District. Not necessarily because of the students (who the majority would not be age eligible to vote) but because of the family members who are active, can vote, and can involve others.  

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Staff attend community events where they can speak to a group and/or set-up a table to assist voters with registration and inform them of the new voting model. We have added the events you provided, and we will contact the organizers to find out if we can attend.

Sincerely, Migrante Northern San Mateo County

(27) To Whom It May Concern at San Mateo County Elections Office,
We are writing on behalf of the Pacific Islander Community in San Mateo County.

Within the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center we are connected to several Pacific Islanders within our community and decided to connect with our local churches to share the Election Administration Plan.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for sharing the draft EAP with several groups.

We believe in giving our people a voice and going to them where they are most comfortable so the information is most authentic. The pacific islander communities from the Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Young Single Adult group, South Bay Tongan Catholic Chaplaincy committee, St. Timothy Lataki group, Saint Francis of Assisi Lataki group, Team Ikuna, Pacific Islander Health Ambassador and Pacific Islander Initiative. Being able to share the EAP and providing a safe space for folks to give feedback focusing around these listed below.

Locations of Vote Centers / Drop Box

  • We are concerned about the San Mateo and Foster City Hall location with the recent political climate folks are afraid to go to the local city halls.
  • San Mateo; Registration & Elections Division; Folks shared that this location is out of reach due to it being on the borderline of Belmont and San Mateo.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Registration & Elections Division location is just one Vote Center location. It has been at Tower Road site for more than 50 years and the location is familiar to many in the community. In previous elections, it had the most voters and the highest number of drop-off ballots of the three Vote Centers.

  • Recommendation is to have the Drop Box or Vote Center at a kind friendly public area such as the two listed below. Both locations have an open parking lot and are in a central open area for the community, family friendly, accessible for disabilities and near public transportation.
     
  • San Mateo Main Library
  • Foster City Library

Registration & Elections Division Response:
In past years, many of our county’s polling places have been located in government buildings, from libraries to city halls to a national guard facility. Our staff at the polls have always endeavored to make sure voters feel welcome and free to cast their ballot in privacy, regardless of whether their polling place was in a government facility, commercial building, or private residence.

Vote Center staff will only confirm a voter’s identity and eligibility when they arrive to cast their vote. Identification will only be required of first-time voters who registered online, and who do not have a signature on file. Vote Center staff will not question voters on other matters.

We hope that voters will feel comfortable casting their ballots in those Vote Centers hosted by government facilities. However, under the Voter’s Choice Act voters have a variety of options in casting their ballot, which they may do at any Vote Center or by mail.

Media Feedback

Opening up the media feedback and outreach to the Pacific Islander community below are a list of places or where you can reach a massive pool of pacific islanders.

  • Online
  • Sharing the information through Facebook event pages for the community
  • Next Door Account
  • Radio / Podcast
  • Big Body Radio Podcast
  • Poly by Design “The Faika Podcast”
  • Tongan Radio
  • Church Bulletin or Announcements
  • Train Stations
  • Bus Stops

Events Feedback

  • Soul Stroll; May 2018
  • School Events
  • Monthly Principal / Parent Coffee
  • Parent Teacher Conference
  • Parent Projects
  • Cafesito

Community Organizations Feedback

  • Taulama for Tongans
  • Samoan Community Development Center
  • Journey to Empowerment
  • Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center
  • Pacific Islander Health Ambassador
  • Pacific Islander Initiative
  • Churches

General other comments and feedback

  • College of San Mateo Programs
  • Mana High Education Program
  • Umoja Program
  • Puente Program
  • Language Barrier; Samoan & Tongan & Fijian

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added several of your media suggestions to the Media Partners list. We have also added the Soul Stroll to the list of events we should contact organizers about attending. We would be pleased to make a presentation or conduct training with any of the groups you have named if they are interested.

Best,
Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center; Pacific Islander Community.

(28) Zip Code : 95014
Organization : NIAC
From: The National Iranian American Council

Re: Feedback on San Mateo County’s draft Election Administration Plan

Honorable Board of Supervisors,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the county’s draft Election Administration Plan (EAP).

San Mateo County is home to a vibrant Iranian-American community, with a population of about 3,000 residents – 1,600 of whom are registered to vote. We wish to ensure that our community is properly represented during the creation of the Election Administration Plan and would like to offer the following recommendations to ensure this is achieved.

Location
We would like to applaud the county for choosing locations that are highly accessible to the major employers in San Mateo County, which makes it more accessible to the employees of these companies. We are concerned, however, that these vote centers may see a lot of traffic as they are only open 3 days before Election day. We would recommend opening these vote centers 10 days before election days to accommodate for the large population of employees, or ensuring that there are drop boxes easily accessible to those that commute to those areas of San Mateo, rather than at city halls.

We are also concerned that, as the current map depicts, the majority of drop box locations are placed at town halls, city halls, and government offices. Many immigrant communities, particularly in the current environment, have felt some form of persecution by or distrust of the government. This may cause some communities to feel uncomfortable with entering an official government building, creating an access barrier to the drop boxes. In addition, many people are unfamiliar with the location of City Hall. We would like to see drop boxes located at familiar public places, such as libraries and community centers that immigrant communities see as a safe space.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
In past years, many of our county’s polling places have been located in government buildings, from libraries to city halls to a national guard facility. Our staff at the polls have always endeavored to make sure voters feel welcome and free to cast their ballot in privacy, regardless of whether their polling place was in a government facility, commercial building, or private residence.

We hope that voters will feel comfortable returning their ballots in those Vote Centers hosted by government facilities. However, under the Voter’s Choice Act voters have a variety of options in dropping off their ballot, which they may do at any Vote Center or by mail (at the USPS, a retailer with mail services or USPS street-corner collection boxes.

Community Events
We would like to see Persian New Year, known as Norouz (Spring Equinox), added to the event calendar to make sure the Iranian-American community is targeted in the outreach plan. Pre-Norouz and Norouz events are being held on the second and third week of March. For example, Pars Equality Center’s Norouz event will be held on Saturday, March 3rd in Burlingame.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for the information on the Persian New Year event. We have added it to our calendar, and we will contact the organizers to find out if we can attend.

Voter Education and Outreach Plan
Lastly, as we stated earlier, there are a large number of Iranian-Americans in San Mateo County. As such, we request that the county includes the Persian language in its outreach plan, and targets individuals from the Iranian-American community. Such efforts can include advertisements and public announcements in Persian.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The County follows the language requirements provided by CA EC 14201 (d).At this time, there is a not a precinct where 3% or more of the voting-age residents speak Persian and/or Farsi in San Mateo County.

Sincerely,

Northern California Organizer
National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

 (29) To Whom It May Concern:
We wanted to provide some feedback on the Voter’s Choice Election Plan. Thank you for the time and thought that went into a well developed plan.

1. Location of Proposed Vote Centers – Thank you for your proposed locations in District 2. We strongly encourage King Community Center to be a Vote Center location and believe that College of San Mateo should be a site for a Vote Center, as should community colleges in other districts, in order to reach the underrepresented demographic of 18-25 year olds. Coupled with a vote center at community college campuses, there should also be extensive outreach to these populations.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have not been able to confirm the King Community Center as a Vote Center. (2/13/18 King Center cancelled due to scheduling issues.)

We did not include Vote Centers at these colleges because classes end between May 19 and May 25, but we have added the college newspapers to our media outreach list. We will consider Vote Centers or drop-boxes at local colleges in the future.

2. Community Partners – North Central Neighborhood Association, San Mateo United Homeowners Association, Thrive Alliance of Nonprofits, San Mateo Union High School District, San Mateo-Foster School District, Youth Commission, Youth Leadership Institute & Youth Advisory Councils throughout the county, Notre Dame de Namur University, African American Community Health Advisory Committee, LifeMoves First Step for Families, Taulama for Tongans.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for the additional suggestions for Community Partners. We have added these organizations, and we hope to work closely with you on reaching out to them.

3. Community Outreach – To target the underrepresented young adult population, outreach and education should target all college campuses including CSM, Canada, Skyline, NDNU, Menlo College, and UC Extension. Partnerships with youth advocacy/leadership groups like youth councils, Youth Leadership Institute, and high schools should be included. Furthermore, outreach venues/partners should also include congregations and libraries.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We agree that there needs to be outreach to the colleges. We have added several college groups to our Community Partner list. We do have speakers at high schools and conduct voter registration drives during the SOS High School Education Weeks.

4. Community Events –Some of the events listed have passed or no longer exist, and may not be reflective of the actual events taking place prior to the election.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have updated our Community Event list. Please let us know exactly what events if you see anything on the list that has passed or no longer exists.

Thank you!

(30) Whom It May concern,
Here are some preliminary comments on the draft EAP, being submitted on behalf of the staff of District 1:

  • Proposed Vote center locations:
    In Burlingame, St Paul’s Episcopal church is relatively close to City Hall; perhaps the second location should be at a location farther away from city hall
    Suggestions for San Bruno TBD= library, city hall

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Upon further review, it was determined that a second Vote Center was not needed in Burlingame, and we will only have the City Hall Vote Center. We are continuing to review locations for San Bruno and appreciate your suggestions.

  • Proposed Community Partners for District 1
    Add school and parent-based organizations, as they often have great regular communications with large numbers of people

 Elementary, middle and high school PTA

 Education foundations (not just Hillsborough; add Burlingame Community for Education, Millbrae Education Foundation, etc…)

 Private schools (Crystal Springs Uplands School, Mercy/Burlingame)

 These suggestions could apply to the other districts as well

Registration & Elections Division Response:
With the possibilities for outreach almost unlimited, the Registration & Elections Division will do outreach to the school districts and ask them to conduct outreach to the school and parent-based organizations such as the PTAs.

We have added the Burlingame and Millbrae Educational Foundations to the Community Partners list. Please let us know the names of other foundations and specific contacts you would like to suggest.

Add more faith-based community partners, including churches, synagogues, etc

  1. Involve youth-based organizations, including community college district, Boys and Girls Clubs, SMC Youth Commission, youth advisory committees of the various cities.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added the Boys & Girls Clubs to the Community Partners list. We would appreciate any information on specific groups and contacts you may have for youth-based organizations.

We welcome the opportunity for further input at a later date, and will follow up with staff.

Regards,

(31) Zip Code: 94002
Organization: SMC DFA, Common Cause, ACLU People Power- Belmont, National Voter Corps

Comments:
Many thanks for volunteering to be one of the five Counties in California to test alternate ways of opening voting to be able to increase participation, especially among under-represented groups. All of us are under-represented given how few of us actually vote, so I hope you and we see double digit increases over the next 3 elections so that a healthy majority of eligible adults are voting by the next Presidential election!

My comments include:

  1. It would be easy to waste the $241K outreach budget on mass media, and I would like to volunteer to be on a sub-team developing/evaluating the outreach plan to make sure we have effective reach among eligible adults – which often does NOT mean newspaper/TV ads. 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Approximately $150,000 of the outreach budget will go to direct voter contact via mailings.

  1. Please discuss this plan ASAP with Anne Campbell, the Superintendent of Schools of San Mateo County, who has a vast network reaching 750K students and their families in a ready-made infrastructure network you need not replicate – but can take full helpful advantage of!!

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have notified Anne Campbell of the new voting model and we will reach out to her again for assistance.

  1. Please set up 4 weeks in a row of voter registration and education opportunities at those schools, for parents dropping off their students or picking them up, using the school newsletters to promote the sessions – offering trained volunteers before school as well as after, to offer language assistance for voter registration (to get parents into the right language ballot for them before the wrong one is sent to them – thereby also letting them know about the upcoming election, their eligibility if they register, and the languages their personal ballot can be offered in! The earlier you do this – such as in February – the longer they have to discuss it among themselves, the longer you have to seed it with the PTAs who can reinforce the message leading up to election day – Primary first in June, then General in November.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Due to the number of schools in the County, it would not be possible for the Registration & Elections Division to take on such a registration drive, but we will share your suggestion Superintendent Campbell and she can suggest that school leaders discuss with the parent-teacher organizations.

  1. Please post large signs in all relevant/available languages at former polling sites that are no longer polling sites – with a map showing where the new sites are, with their addresses and open hours listed along the sides of the map. If those maps can be up and highly visible at least a week ahead of the two actual elections, that may be enough time to seed the idea that the voter needs to go elsewhere to vote!

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your suggestion.                                                             

  1. Please canvass neighborhoods with well trained volunteers to alert people to the opportunity to vote, going to doors where people are not yet registered (carrying registration papers), and to doors where people have rarely voted – to engage the household’s people with the discussion of the new voting site for their area. And if in the last month before the Primary (and later the General), with the ballot description to help engage them in being interested in learning about the candidates and the issues. The degree to which the canvasser can choose topics that must impact that particular household for examples of impact their vote can have ~ the more effective the effort!

Registration & Elections Division Response:
With the possibilities for outreach almost unlimited, the Registration & Elections Division does not have the staff to conduct door-to-door outreach. We can provide training and information to groups wishing to do so.

  1. Please train volunteers (through the LWV, SMC DFA, NVC, ACLU People Power, Common Cause, etc.) to table at schools, high traffic grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and train stations to reach the vast majority of eligible adults who should be able to vote if registered, starting in March, and leading through to the early June Primary. 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Yes, we can provide training and information to interested groups.

  1. Please look through all your materials to realize the degree to which you have schedule meetings and voting hours during most people’s working hours. Please insure that at least one night a week the voting places are open until 10 p.m., and that it is well promoted throughout the County! Thank you for being open on the two weekends before the actual final election day as well – that’s very helpful.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will take your suggestion into consideration the next time we schedule hearings. Since the Vote Centers will be open on two weekends, we do not see a need to have Vote Centers open until 10 p.m.

We could all be so proud of San Mateo County and our % increase in voter participation this election!!!!Please take to heart my wish to review the Outreach plan before a penny is spent, to make sure we don’t waste that money – but actually raise awareness of the opportunities.

Very many thanks,