San Mateo County Offers Additional Accessible Voting Options to County Residents
Improved Access to Voting and Election Information through Remote Accessible Vote by Mail Ballot, Accessible Vote at Home Service, Accessible Sample Ballot and Curbside Voting
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, San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Mark Church has announced the availability of four (4) accessible options to allow all San Mateo County voters to vote independently and privately.
The Accessible Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet provides voters with an opportunity to hear their pamphlets on their personal computers. The accessible pamphlet is particularly useful for voters with visual impairments. It may also be of interest to voters who prefer listening to reading. The accessible pamphlet, in English, Spanish and Chinese, is available now at www.smcacre.org/my-election-info.
Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) System allows voters 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 RAVBM System for voters with disabilities.
For the September 14, 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election, the State of California allows all voters to use approved RAVBM Systems as one of their voting options due to COVID-19.
Voters using the RAVBM System can access their ballot online, mark their choices, and then print their ballot. To ensure security and compliance 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 ballot is not processed until the Elections Office receives the printed RAVBM ballot.
The ballot may be returned to the Registration & Elections Division in the postage-paid Vote by Mail return envelope mailed in the Official Ballot package. Alternatively, voters may return their ballots using their own envelope, which must be accompanied by a signed Oath and Declaration form. The RAVBM ballot can be returned by mail, dropped off in an official County Ballot Drop Box, or at a Vote Center. Voters may find the complete list of Vote Center and Ballot Drop Box locations at www.smcvote.org.
To access the RAVBM System, voters can:
- Go to www.smcacre.org/my-election-info; or
- Request a link by emailing email@example.com or calling 650.312.5222
Here, voters can view the system requirements with the recommended operating systems and compatible technology. Additional information, including a demo of the RAVBM site, is available at www.smcacre.org/remote-accessible-vote-mail-system.
Accessible Vote at Home Service
In a continued effort to provide greater access to voting and election materials, voters with disabilities can request the Accessible Vote at Home service if they are unable to use the RAVBM system.
The Accessible Vote at Home service is designed for voters with disabilities who are unable to vote at a Vote Center or on a Vote by Mail ballot. Elections staff will travel to a location of the voter’s choosing and provide an accessible touchscreen Ballot Marking Tablet with an Accessible Tactile Interface, which can read the ballot to a voter or be viewed in a large font.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650.312.5222 to make an appointment with the Accessible Vote at Home service.
At our 30-Day, 11-Day Vote Centers and the Foster City and Menlo Park 4-Day Vote Centers, if a voter requires a ballot marking tablet to vote independently, two people (either two staff or one staff member and the voter’s assistant) can bring a curbside cart with a ballot marking tablet and printer out to their vehicle.
California Gubernatorial Recall 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 September 14, 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall 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 toll-free hotline, 888.SMC.VOTE (888.762.8683), to assist voters in any language.