Randomized Alphabet Drawings Scheduled for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election

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) On Thursday, December 12 at 11 a.m., the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division and the Secretary of State’s Office will conduct randomized alphabet drawings. “I encourage the public to observe this important process,” said Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.

The randomized alphabet drawings serve two essential functions for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election ballot. First, they determine the placement order of candidates’ names on the official ballot. Second, they assign a letter to each measure that will appear on the ballot.

The randomized alphabet drawing is a crucial phase of the official ballot development process. “A randomized alphabet helps create a level playing field,” Church explained. “If we used the standard alphabet in every election, ‘John Adams’ would always appear above ‘George Washington.’” At the drawing, election officials and interested members of the public will draw letters from a basket to determine the candidates’ name placement order and to assign the letters for each measure listed on the ballot.

“The Secretary of State’s randomized alphabet drawing will determine the order for all city, school and special district office races,” stated Church. “The San Mateo County drawing will assign the letters to the local measures submitted to the voters,” Church added.

Information regarding candidates and the local measures is available on the Registration & Elections Division website at www.smcacre.org. For more information about the drawing, please contact Michael Lui, Candidate Services Supervisor, at 650.312.5238 or candidateservices@smcacre.org.

All-Mailed Ballot – Vote Center Election Model for March 3, 2020 Election
The March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be the fourth election San Mateo County conducts under the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) model.  It is the first Presidential Primary Election to be held under the VCA.

Traditional polling places have been replaced by Vote Centers, which will be open for voting for a greater period, and which will offer expanded voter services including voter registration, multilingual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 will also receive a Vote by Mail Ballot, which can be returned with no postage required in any mailbox, ballot drop box or vote center located throughout the county.

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