Public Welcome to Watch as Elections Office Opens and Processes Vote by Mail Ballots for April 10 Election
This process begins April 6

Archive Press Release

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

Alternate: David Tom, Elections Manager

(Redwood City, CA) On Friday, April 6, the San Mateo County Elections Office will begin the opening and processing of returned Vote by Mail ballots for the April 10, 2012 Brisbane School District Special Election, and will continue daily until all signature-verified Vote by Mail ballots are processed.  The public is invited to observe.

“This is the time to visit the Elections Office,” stated Mark Church, San Mateo County’s Chief Elections Officer and Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder. “The public has the right to make certain that the ballot process is open and transparent,” he added.

Beginning seven business days prior to an election day, state law allows election officials to open the return envelopes containing voted mail ballots after verifying each voter’s signature on the outside of the envelopes.  During this period, only two processes may be executed.  First, the envelope may be opened and the ballot may be separated from it.  Next, the ballot may be digitally scanned, capturing the voting marks into the scanning system’s digital memory.  However, voting marks may not be tabulated (counted) or reported until after the polls close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, which is the deadline for physical receipt of voted mail ballots.

The tabulation results from the mail ballots that will be scanned during this period will be reported to the public at 8:05 p.m. on Election Day.  This will be the first report of the evening’s series of reports of semi-official results issued every half hour, accumulating results from polling places until every precinct is accounted for.  Mail ballots dropped off at a polling place on Election Day will be counted during the Official Canvass which begins after the polls close and continues for up to 28 days until completion of the required auditing and certification process.

Observers of this initial phase of Vote by Mail processing should plan to arrive at the Elections Office no sooner than 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 6.  Processing will continue daily until every signature-verified mail ballot that was received through Election Day has been processed for tabulation on Election Night.

Persons interested in observing this or any other election process should make prior arrangements by contacting Narda Barrientos, Elections Supervisor, by phone at (650) 312-5365 or by e-mail to  For driving directions or other information about the election, visit the official website at  

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