San Mateo County
California Voter's Choice Act


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 prepare a draft Election Administration Plan (EAP) and after public comment, an Amended Draft EAP for the administration of elections under the new law.  The Amended Draft EAP was a collaborative effort prepared in consultation with our community partners and stakeholders.  It incorporated many of the recommendations obtained from our public hearings held on October 12, 2017, October 16, 2017, and January 18, 2018, with our language and disability communities and the general public.

With the posting of our Amended Draft EAP, the public was provided a 14-day comment period.  Upon conclusion of the comment period, the County’s Final EAP was formally adopted and submitted to the Secretary of State for approval.

The Registration & Elections Division is amending the EAP to incorporate proposed changes from community groups and stakeholders following the June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election.  The public will have a 30-day comment period, through October 10, 2018, to comment on the Amended EAP.  Upon conclusion of the comment period, the Final EAP will be translated, posted on our website and submitted to the Secretary of State to post on their website.

In an effort to continually improve the VCA elections model, the law requires the Chief Elections Officer to hold additional public hearings within two years of conducting the first election and every four years thereafter, to consider revisions to the EAP.

The VCA Process

Starting in 2018, all registered voters in San Mateo County will be mailed their ballot 28 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. Four (4) Vote Centers will be open 28 days before the election, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nine Vote Centers will be open 10 days before the election and 39 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