Public Comments (62-88)
at Voter's Choice Act Community Convening and Registration & Elections Division Responses

Post

(62) Public meeting was at a bad time. 

Should be in the evening as many people cannot attend during the day

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will take your suggestion into consideration the next time we schedule hearings.  We did receive comments via email and our web form from some individuals and organizations who could not attend.

(63) Get in contact with Ann Campbell. 

Get notice of the new election model into school newsletters.

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

(64) Meet with PTAs or at least get the word out to them.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have notified all public school superintendents. 

(65) Do language outreach at schools and let them tell us what they need.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We will be holding an educational workshop with language translation available. Our Language Accessibility Advisory Committee members will be conducting outreach in their communities.

(66) Consider extending Vote Center hours from 9-5 to at least 6pm

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Voter Centers will be open on two weekends and until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

(67) Outreach to students to let them know the residency requirements or that it is much easier to register in California than other states.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We agree that there needs to be outreach to students. We do work closely with the high schools. 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.

(68) Some government buildings can be uncomfortable for voters.

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.

(69) Ballot boxes at City Clerks need to be better attended. One in Millbrae is not secured.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
While all ballot drop-boxes are locked, we will be adding a cable to secure the boxes at City Halls.

(70) Create advisory committee, for example Voter Outreach

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your comment.  We will not be implementing your suggestion at this time, but we will reconsider it in the future.

(71) Will the comments submitted by the public be made public?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Yes.

(72) What other community groups or advisory boards exist outside of the VAAC or LAAC?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
At this time, the VAAC and LAAC are the only citizen advisory boards to the Chief Elections Officer.

(73) Move Redwood Shores Vote Center from Office of Ed to Redwood Shores Library with drop box also

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your feedback, but we do not plan to change the Office of Education location to the library.

(74) Add inside Dropbox in Fair Oaks area

Registration & Elections Division Response:
There will be a drop-box inside the Fair Oaks Community Center when it serves as a 3-day Vote Center.

(75) Notify City Councils of the Public Hearing so that they can mention it at Council Meetings in the next 2 weeks.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
The Draft EAP was hand delivered to every City/Town Clerk in early January, and it included information about the public hearing.  A letter was sent to every Mayor in December and it included information about the meeting.

(76) Send information about ballots returned to media to encourage voting.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Thank you for your suggestion.  We are discussing implementing this idea.

(77) Identify the reasons for low voter turnout.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Voter turnout can be influenced by the candidates and measures on the ballot.  We have no control over these items.

(78)Best way to encourage turnout is to go door to door with personal conversation at least in Bellehaven neighborhood.  Elections could pay people to do this.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Though the Registration & Elections Division wishes to see every election have high participation, it is more appropriate for campaigns and citizen organizations to conduct door-to-door outreach to encourage turnout. Our mission is to register County citizens to vote and efficiently conduct transparent elections.

(79) Need better outreach to felons to let them know of their rights to re-register

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We have added more to the Amended Draft EAP on helping current inmates and those formerly incarcerated understand their voting rights.

(80) Make presentations at churchs/schools that were former polling places

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are happy to respond to invitations to speak to any interested group.

(81) Elections Office could offer outreach training of groups to go door to door

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are happy to train interested individuals or groups.  We will also offer an online toolkit to assist those interested in doing outreach on the VCA.

(82) Attendees offered thoughts on if we had considered partnering with local agencies / nonprofits / community groups or leaders to lead outreach campaigns. 

Campaigns would consist of community presentations or door-to-door neighborhood outreach.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are happy to train interested individuals or groups.  We will also offer an online toolkit to assist those interested in conducting their own outreach.

(83) An attendee shared that they have learned through community outreach that voters often do not trust the voting process outside of voting at their neighborhood polling location.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Almost 65% of San Mateo County voters are already signed up to permanently vote by mail.

(84) Do we plan to share information on the ballots returned, even before election night results releases?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are discussing a suggestion to share information on turnout in advance but the CA EC 15101 © states that results shall not be released before the close of the election at 8 p.m. Election Day.

(85) We should reach out to other elected officials, specifically City Council members and make in person presentations. 

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We sent every City/Town Clerk a letter offering to give their City/Town Council a presentation.  We are currently scheduled to do presentations in Pacifica and San Carlos.

(86)Have we considered sending out notices to former local polling places to ensure they are aware of the change.

Have we consider going to some that are Churches, Community Centers, etc. and making presentations to the leaders or people who attend these facilities to ensure they are aware of the changes.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We plan to send letters to former polling places.  We are happy to make presentations upon request.

(87) If this is a pilot implementation, it is somewhat of an experiment.

Have we created a list of questions or a hypothesis we want to answer? What is our intention of implementing VCA? Do we have a core set of questions we are looking to answer?

Registration & Elections Division Response:
Since San Mateo County successfully conducted an all-mailed ballot Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election in November 2015 as a pilot under AB 2028, we are confident that the expanded voting options the VCA provides will increase voter participation and increase engagement.

(88) If we did some type of partnership, would we considered opening an RFP to pay agencies to assist us with this type of support.

Registration & Elections Division Response:
We are considering opening an RFP for outreach. We have received a great deal of interest from civic-minded individuals and organizations to provide outreach support.