San Mateo County
California Voter's Choice Act


San Mateo County

The California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) is landmark legislation which fundamentally transforms the manner in which elections will be conducted in the State of California. San Mateo County is proud to be one of 14 counties authorized by the State to conduct elections under the new law.

On September 12, 2017, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors authorized the Chief Elections Officer to proceed with the implementation of the Act and conduct the June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election as the first election held under the California Voter’s Choice Act.

The California Voter’s Choice Act changes the traditional polling place election model to an All-Mailed Ballot/Vote Center model with ballot drop-off locations. The primary goal of this new legislation is to expand accessibility and voting opportunities for all voters, particularly those with disabilities, visual impairments and language minorities.

The California Voter’s Choice Act requires all counties conducting elections under the Act to develop a Draft EAP and a detailed Voter Education and Outreach Plan.

A Public Hearing was held on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in the County Board of Supervisors Chambers located at 400 County Center, Redwood City for the public to comment on the County’s Draft EAP and the Voter Education and Outreach Plan.

The public was invited to view the Draft EAP and the Voter Education and Outreach Plan online. Public comment for the Draft EAP closed on January 18, 2018. The Chief Elections Officer took all comments into consideration in creating an Amended Draft EAP and Voter Education and Outreach Plan.

The Amended Draft EAP and Voter Education and Outreach Plan is posted online. A 14-day public comment period ended on March 15, 2018.

The Final EAP was adopted on March 16, 2018.  The Secretary of State approved the Voter Education and Outreach provision of the plan on March 30, 2018.

The VCA Process

Starting in 2018, all registered voters in San Mateo County will be mailed their ballot 29 days before the election. You can choose from 3 different ways to return your voted ballot:

Mail Mail

You can vote and mail your ballot in the postage-paid return envelope on or before Election Day.


Drop-off Box Drop-off Box

You can return your voted ballot to a secure Ballot Drop-off Box. Voters will find Ballot Drop-off Boxes throughout San Mateo County starting 28 days before the election.


Vote Center

Vote Centers look and feel like polling places, but provide additional services and options for voters. You can go to any Vote Center in San Mateo County to:

  • Vote on an accessible voting machine
  • Vote on a paper ballot
  • Access election materials in a range of languages
  • Receive assistance from staff fluent in English, Spanish, Chinese, Filipino or Korean
  • Drop off your ballot
  • Receive a replacement ballot
  • Register to vote or update registration information through Election Day

Vote Centers will be located throughout San Mateo County. Three (3) Vote Centers will be open 29 days before the election, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. An additional 5 Vote Centers will be open 10 days before the election and an additional 31 Vote Centers will be open 3 days before the election for at least 8 hours daily. All Vote Centers will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

Proposed Vote Centers and Ballot Drop-off Locations

Be Part of the Process

Help ensure your community knows how, when and where to vote. Attend the County’s public informational meetings or check the website for updates.

Contact us: 650.312.5222 or

California Voter's Choice Act Brochure