Election Observer Program
Public Welcome to Observe Election Activities for the September 14, 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election


The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division welcomes all observers.  Our Election Observer Program is designed to: 

  • Provide the public with the opportunity to observe and make suggestions to improve the election process 
  • Help ensure the integrity and transparency of the election process 
  • Remove any mystery associated with the election process and procedures 
  • Build voter confidence and encourage more people to engage in civic life 


In compliance with Public Health Orders, all elections staff and observers are required to follow key prevention practices when performing or observing elections processes, if not fully vaccinated. These include: 

  • Physical distancing to a minimum of 6 feet 
  • Use of face coverings by all participants 
  • Frequent handwashing with available sanitizing supplies 
  • Refraining from attending while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or having recently been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 

To encourage people, including members of the public, to observer election activities, an appointment for scheduling a time for observing is strongly encouraged. Appointments allow us to ensure your observation experience is accommodated without delaying election activities.

Those interested in observing the process may come to the Registration & Elections Division office at 40 Tower Road, San Mateo. Operating hours for opening and processing will be Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or when all ballots are processed for the day until the Official Canvass is complete.

Click here to view the Scope of Observable Activities.