Public Welcome to Observe the Opening and Processing of Vote by Mail Ballots for the November 3, 2015 Election
Process Begins Tuesday, October 20

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Alternate: David Tom, Elections Division Manager

(Redwood City, CA) On Tuesday, October 20, authorized staff of the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will begin opening and processing returned Vote by Mail ballots for the  November 3, 2015 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District All-Mailed Ballot Election. 

“This election is the first county-wide Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District All-Mailed Ballot Election in the history of California,” stated Church.  “I welcome and encourage members of the public to participate in this important event by observing the processing of vote by mail ballots,” Church added. 

Senate Bill 29, which went into effect on January 1, 2015, allows election officials to begin processing ballot earlier than before.  Election officials may now open the return envelopes containing voted mail ballots beginning ten business days prior to Election Day.  For each ballot, an election official will compare the voter’s signature on the outside of the envelope to the signature on the voter’s original registration application to ensure the signatures match.  To preserve secrecy, the ballot is then separated from the envelope.  Next, the ballot will be digitally scanned, capturing the voting marks in the scanning system’s memory.  Voting marks will not be tabulated (counted) or reported until the close of voting at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Those interested in observing any process may make prior arrangements by contacting Elections Supervisor Melinda Dubroff at 650.312.5390 or

The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at