Vote By Mail Ballots


Receive a Vote by Mail Ballot

Every voter registered to Vote by Mail in districts holding an election will be mailed a ballot beginning 29 days before Election Day.

The ballot will come in an envelope that looks similar to this:

outbound envelopes

Inside the ballot packet you will find:

  • Your Official Ballot
  • A postage-paid return envelope
  • Voting Instructions

Delivery of the mailed ballot depends on your local mail service. If you don’t receive your Vote by Mail ballot by three weeks before Election Day, OR, if you make a mistake on your ballot, you may contact us in a variety of ways:

  • Fill out the Online Replacement Ballot Request Form.
  • Call the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division at 650.312.5222.
  • Email us at
  • Go to a Vote Center on or before Election Day.

Vote by Mail Ballot

Voting by mail is easy!

  1. Vote your ballot by filling in the box next to your choice.
  2. Put your voted ballot inside the postage paid return envelope.
  3. Sign the return envelope between the hole punches. This is important! (In order to count your ballot, we must match your signature on the envelope with the signature in your voter registration record.)
  4. Seal the envelope.
  5. Return the ballot.

Return Your Ballot

Don’t delay! Once you vote your ballot and properly sign the envelope, you need to return it on time. Here’s how:

  1. Drop it off in the mail. It can only be accepted if it is postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by our office within 3 days after Election Day.
  2. Drop it off at any Drop Box location.
  3. Drop it off at any Vote Center.

Emergency Vote by Mail Voting – Authorized Ballot Pick-up

If, during the seven (7) days before an election, you find that you will be unable to vote in person on Election Day, you may request in a written statement, signed under penalty of perjury, that a ballot be delivered to your authorized representative. Your authorized representative will receive your ballot after presenting the signed statement at the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division.

Replacement Ballots

If you make a mistake, you may get a replacement ballot.

Here’s how:

  • Call or text us at 650.312.5222;
  • Fax us at 650.312.5348;
  • Email us at;
  • Fill out the Online Replacement Ballot Request Form; or
  • Go to any Vote Center in San Mateo County.

Replacement ballots are a normal part of the Vote by Mail process. Voters may receive additional ballots if they re-register, update their voter registration, or request a replacement from our office. Only the first ballot our office receives will be counted, ensuring NO ONE can vote twice.

If you would like your replacement ballot sent to you by mail, your request must be received by our office no later than a week before Election Day to allow for sufficient mailing time.