Public Welcome to Observe Opening & Processing of Vote by Mail Ballots for the November 2, 2021 Special Election

New Site Press Release

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

(Redwood City, CA) Beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, authorized staff of the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will begin opening and processing returned Vote by Mail ballots for the November 2, 2021 Special Election for the Menlo Park City School District and the Town of Woodside.

Election officials may open the return envelopes containing voted mail ballots beginning 29 business days before Election Day. Operating hours for opening and processing will be daily, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or when 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 tabulation of the scanned ballots will not be 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, San Mateo, at any time or make prior arrangements by contacting Elections Supervisor Hillary O’Connor at 650.312.5294 or hoconnor@smcacre.org. 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 www.smcvote.org or “Where’s My Ballot?” to verify when ballot materials were mailed and when the Registration & Elections Division received their voted ballot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, is the last day that registered voters may request a Vote by Mail ballot be delivered by mail for the November 2, 2021 Special Election.

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, November 2, 2021, and received by the Registration & Elections Division no later than Tuesday, November 9, 2021;
  • Drop off your ballot at any Official Ballot Drop Box located throughout the county by 8 p.m. on Election Day; or
  • Drop off your ballot at any Vote Center by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

A list of Vote Centers and Drop Box locations can be found online at www.smcvote.org.
Special Election Updates

The most comprehensive resource for San Mateo County election information is www.smcvote.org which is updated frequently as Election Day approaches. For more information on voting services available for the November 2, 2021 Special Election, please call or text 650.312.5222, visit www.smcvote.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote.

The Registration & Elections Division also offers a multilingual toll-free hotline, 888.SMC.VOTE (888.762.8683), to assist voters.