San Mateo County Offers Accessible Voting Options to County Residents
Accessible Vote by Mail Ballot, Mobile Vote Center and Accessible Sample Ballot Improve Access to Voting and Election Materials

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) In a continued effort to improve access to voting and election materials to voters with disabilities, Mark Church, San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, has announced the availability of three options aimed to allow all San Mateo County voters to vote independently and privately.

Accessible Sample Ballot and Accessible Vote by Mail (AVBM) Ballot
The Accessible Vote by Mail (AVBM) system allows voters with disabilities to access and mark their ballot in a screen-readable format using their personal computers.

In 2017, San Mateo County was the first County in California to deploy an AVBM system for voters with disabilities as authorized under Assembly Bill 2252.

“Ensuring that all voters can cast their ballot remains this office’s paramount concern, and I’m pleased that with this technology, we can provide voters with more options than ever,” said Church.

Voters using this system will log in online and download their ballot to a computer, mark their choices and then print their ballot. The ballot may be returned to the Registration & Elections Division in the postage-paid Vote by Mail envelope mailed to each voter. Voters may also drop off their sealed ballots at any Vote Center or Drop Box location located throughout the county. A full list of Vote Center and Drop Box locations can be accessed at smcvote.org.

To ensure security and comply with California law, at no time can any voter’s voting choices or marked ballot be transmitted over the internet. During ballot marking, the system does not allow data to be transmitted over the internet. Only a paper ballot will be produced, and a voter’s selections will not be stored.

The Accessible Vote by Mail system is available 24/7 for the duration of the voting period for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election, from February 3, 2020, through Election Day. The use of the AVBM system is limited to voters with disabilities. Eligible voters can access their ballot through the AVBM system at smcacre.org/my-election-info. They can also request a link to their ballot by emailing registrar@smcacre.org or calling 650.312.5222. Additional information, including a demo of the AVBM site with recommended operating systems and compatible technology, is also available at smcacre.org/accessible-vote-mail.

Mobile Vote Center
A Mobile Vote Center will be available to voters beginning February 3, 2020 until Election Day, for the entirety of the voting period. In a continued effort to provide greater access to voting and election materials, voters with disabilities can request the Mobile Vote Center service if they are unable to use the AVBM system.

The Mobile Vote Center is designed for voters with disabilities who are unable to vote at a Vote Center or on a Vote by Mail ballot. Elections will travel to a place of the voter’s choosing and provide an accessible touchscreen Ballot Marking Tablet with a Disabled Access Unit, which can read the ballot to a voter and can display in large font.

Email registrar@smcacre.org or call 650.312.5222 to make an appointment with the Mobile Vote Center.

All-Mailed Ballot – Vote Center Election Model for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary 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 an extended 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 voters can return with no postage required in any mailbox or into secure county ballot drop boxes located throughout the county.

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