Public Welcome to Observe the Opening & Processing of Vote by Mail Ballots for the November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election
Public Invited to Observe New Voting Systems in Action!

New Site Press Release

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

(Redwood City, CA) Since Tuesday, October 22, authorized staff of the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division have begun the opening and processing returned Vote by Mail ballots using our new Central Scanning system for the November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election.

Election officials are able to 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, through the Official Canvass period.

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 voting marks captured in the scanning system’s memory will not be tabulated (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, 40 Tower Road, San Mateo at any time or make prior arrangements by contacting Elections Supervisor Michael Lui at 650.312.5238 or mlui@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 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 November Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election is Tuesday, October 29, 2019. 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 November 5 and received by the Registration & Elections Division no later than November 8;
  • Drop off your ballot at the 24-hour ballot drop box at the Registration & Elections Division, 40 Tower Road in San Mateo or City Hall, 610 Foster City Boulevard in Foster City by 8 p.m. on Election Day;
  • Drop off your ballot at any City Hall in areas holding elections, and the San Carlos City Hall, during business hours on or before Election Day;
  • Or drop off your ballot at any Vote Center daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. before Election Day and from 7 a.m. to 8.pm. on Election Day. Two Vote Centers are open weekdays until October 25, four Vote Centers will be open daily beginning October 26, and 18 Vote Centers will open daily beginning November 2 with extended Election Day hours.

Jurisdictions Holding Elections

  • Cabrillo Unified School District 
  • City of Brisbane       
  • City of Burlingame
  • City of San Bruno
  • Redwood City School District
  • San Mateo-Foster City School District

All-Mailed Ballot – Vote Center Election Model for November 5, 2019

The November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election will be the third election San Mateo County conducts under the California Voter’s Choice Act model.  Traditional polling places have been replaced by Vote Centers, which will be open for voting for a greater period, and which will offer expanded voter services including voter registration, multilingual assistance, and disabled access voting options.  Every registered voter, in a jurisdiction holding an election, will receive a Vote by Mail Ballot, which can be returned with no postage required in any mailbox or ballot drop box located throughout the county.

For more information on the November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election, please call 650.312.5222, visit www.smcacre.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote.