Public Invited to Observe New Voting System in Action 
June 3, 2020

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Alternate: Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

(Redwood City, CA) Beginning Tuesday, June 9, authorized staff of the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will begin opening and processing returned Vote by Mail ballots for the June 23, 2020 County Service Area #1 Special Mail Ballot Election. 

Election officials may open the return envelopes containing voted mail ballots beginning ten (10) business days before Election Day.  Operating hours for opening and processing continues daily thereafter from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or until all ballots are processed for the day until the Official Canvass is complete. 

For each ballot, an election official will compare the voter’s signature on the outside of the envelope to the signature on the voter’s original registration application or other updated signatures on file. 

The ballot is separated from the envelope to preserve secrecy.  The envelope is saved for the mandatory retention period, and the ballot is digitally scanned.  The scanned ballots will not be counted or reported until the close of voting at 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Those interested in observing the process may come to the Registration & Elections Division office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo at any time, or make prior arrangements by contacting Elections Supervisor Michael Lui at 650.312.5238 or  Observers will receive a copy of the Election Observer Program Guidelines, which specifies observer rights, responsibilities and limitations, and a copy of the Vote by Mail Processing Procedures. 

Registered voters may use the “My Election Info” link at to verify when ballot materials were mailed and when the Registration & Elections Division received their voted ballot. 

The last day for registered voters to request a ballot to be mailed to them for the June 23, 2020 Special Mail Ballot Election is Tuesday, June 16, 2020.  Voted mail ballots can be returned in one of the following ways: 

  • Mail your ballot in the POSTAGE-PAID ENVELOPE.  Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 23 and received by the Registration & Elections Division no later than Friday, June 26; 
  • Drop off your ballot at the Official Ballot Drop Box located 24/7 in the parking lot of the Registrations & Elections Division; or 
  • Drop off your ballot at the Registration & Elections Division Vote Center daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. before Election Day and from 7 a.m. to on Election Day. 

For more information, call 650.312.5222, visit or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote. 

Related Contacts

Mark Church

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer
555 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665Get Directions

Jim Irizarry

Asst. Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Asst. Chief Elections Officer
555 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665Get Directions