Public Welcome to Observe the Opening and Processing Of Vote by Mail Ballots for the May 5, 2015 Election Process Begins Tuesday, April 21

Archive Press Release

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

Alternate: David Tom, Elections Division Manager

(Redwood City, CA) On Tuesday, April 21, authorized staff of the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will begin opening and processing returned Vote by Mail ballots for the May 5, 2015 San Carlos School District Special All Mail Ballot Election. 

“I welcome and encourage members of the public to visit the Registration & Elections Division during this exciting time,” stated Mark Church, San Mateo County’s Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.  “The processing of Vote by Mail ballots will continue daily through Election Day,” he added. 

Senate Bill 29, which went into effect on January 1, 2015, allows election officials to begin processing ballot earlier than before.  Election officials may now open the return envelopes containing voted mail ballots beginning ten business days prior to Election Day.  For each ballot, an elections official will compare the voter’s signature on the outside of the envelope to the signature on the voter’s original registration application to ensure the signature’s match.  To preserve secrecy, the ballot is then separated from the envelope.  Next, the ballot will be digitally scanned, capturing the voting marks in the scanning system’s memory.  Voting marks will not be tabulated (counted) or reported until the close of voting at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.  

Those interested in observing any process should make prior arrangements by contacting Meaghan Hassel Shearer, Elections Supervisor, at 650.312.5293 or

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