Mailing of Sample Ballot Pamphlets for November Election Begins September 29

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Alternate: David Tom, Deputy Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Redwood City, CA – San Mateo County’s  ”Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet” for the November 8, 2011 countywide election will begin to be mailed to the county’s 318,379 voters beginning on Thursday, September 29, and will conclude about 10 business days later.

The upcoming November 8 election is a Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election. The ballot includes contests for eleven municipalities, eight school districts, and five special districts. Twelve ballot measures, on fiscal and legislative issues, have been placed on the ballot by ten of these governing bodies.

The Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet is personalized for each voter, and is designed to inform the voter about the specific contests (candidates for office and ballot measures) that will appear on the voter’s ballot, and includes candidate statements, ballot measures language and related arguments supporting and opposing the measures, and information about voting methods and other voter resources. The back cover of the pamphlet identifies the location of the voter’s polling place.

In this election, the strict rules of ballot design have produced 150 different ” ballot styles,” each of which reflects a particular set of contests that may be voted by the particular voter based on the election precinct where the voter lives, and each of those styles is, in turn, redesigned into sub-styles that reflect the voter’s choice of language (English, Spanish or Chinese) as well as randomized arrangements of candidates’ names so as to avoid giving preference based on ballot position.

The Elections Office encourages voters to enroll in its new “Go Green” Program. This program allows a voter to opt-out of receiving a mailed paper copy of the Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet, and instead to obtain it electronically from the Elections Office website ( Online versions of the pamphlet are also available in Spanish and Chinese. To date, 13,569 voters have signed up and this will be the first election in which this new convenience will be exercised. Voters may join the program through the online application form (on the home page, click on “Check My Registration/Election Information”) or they may complete the application form contained in the pamphlet that will be received for this election. Multi-voter households may choose to share the paper pamphlet of only one voter, while the other voters join Go Green.

The Elections Office makes every effort to accommodate the needs of every voter. Voters who prefer to receive their voter materials in Chinese or Spanish, as provided by the federal Voting Rights Act, may make that request at the time they register to vote or at anytime thereafter. Visually impaired voters may ask to receive their Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet on audiotape, by calling 650.312.5222.

San Mateo County’s Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Mark Church, urges every voter to take full advantage of the Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet, stating, “I encourage voters to review the material carefully. If you plan to vote at your polling place on Election Day, take the time in advance to mark your choices inside your Sample Ballot and bring it with you to the polls. That extra preparation will save time for you, for the election officers and for other voters who may be waiting to vote. More importantly, it will help you make sure that you will mark your actual ballot with the choices that you want.”

Church also advises voters to confirm the location of their polling place before they head off to vote. “Sometimes, the polling place that you’ve gone to many times in the past may have become unavailable for this election, for a variety of reasons. The address appears on the back of the Sample Ballot pamphlet. In addition, the address can be found through a link on the Elections Office website ( or from a smartphone ( Take that minute now, to be sure.”

For information about the mail delivery schedule for the pamphlet, call the Elections Office at 650.312.5222 or email to

The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at