San Mateo County Offers Additional Accessible Voting Options to County Residents
Remote Accessible Vote by Mail Ballot, Accessible Vote at Home Service and Accessible Sample Ballot Improve Access to Voting and Election Information
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 three additional accessible options aimed to allow all San Mateo County voters to vote independently and privately.
The Accessible Sample Ballot & 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) 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 a RAVBM system for voters with disabilities.
For the November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election, the State of California is allowing 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 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. RAVBM will produce only a paper ballot and will not store the voter’s selections. The ballot is not counted 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 their Official Ballot package. Alternatively, voters may return their ballots using their own envelope, 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 full list of Vote Center and Ballot Drop Box locations at www.smcacre.org/my-election-info.
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.
The RAVBM system is available in addition to other accessible voting options:
- Vote by Mail
- Drop Off Your Voted Ballot
- Vote in Person at a Vote Center
Accessible Vote at Home Service
The Accessible Vote at Home service will be available to voters beginning October 5, 2020, 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 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.
November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election – COVID-19 Prepared
All Vote Centers comply with San Mateo County Health Department and CDC COVID-19 safety standards. Voters are expected to wear masks and adhere to all social distancing requirements. For more information on the November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election, please call 650.312.5222, visit www.smcvote.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote.