Vote Centers & Vote in Person


Vote Centers
Vote Early or on Election Day

California law allows voters to cast their ballot during the 29-day period prior to Election Day and on Election Day. You may cast your ballot via mail, or vote in person on paper or the electronic voting machine.


Vote in Person

Once at a Vote Center

Here are the steps for voting at a Vote Center:


Election Security and Accuracy

This section is an overview of the security features of election systems and the security procedures used by San Mateo County Elections designed to make ensure the integrity of the vote and the conduct of secure and accurate elections.

Voter Registration System

San Mateo County uses an Election Information Management System from DFM Associates, Inc. called EIMS. This system stores all the voter data and voter participation history in addition to other items. Below are some of the systems and protocols in place to protect the County’s Voter Registration System.


San Mateo County Election Contingency Plan


The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division’s Ballot Contingency Plan satisfies the requirement under Election Code Section 14299 to submit an alternate procedure for precinct boards if they are “unable to furnish a ballot to a qualified voter because there is an insufficient number of ballots at the precinct” and are “awaiting the delivery of additional ballots.”

The number one goal is to ensure that no Vote Centers run out of ballots. We also recognize the need to assist the public by ensuring there is no perception or fear of vote centers running out of ballots.


Vote Centers
Dominion Democracy Suite Voting System

At a Vote Center, voters have the option of marking a paper ballot or using the new touchscreen ballot marking tablet to mark their ballot.

Each Vote Center will have multiple accessible voting stations consisting of a modern touchscreen ballot marking tablet and an individual printer. These devices provide a simple, intuitive interface for voters. Unlike the direct-recording electronic voting machines previously used, ballot marking tablets do not store voters’ selections electronically.

ballot marking tablet

After marking their ballots, voters print their ballots from a printer in their voting booth. The printed ballot lists the voters’ selections and includes a secure bar code. Voters then deposit their ballot in a Ballot Box.

Video – How to Vote using a Ballot Marking Tablet

Vote Centers

Español Video – Cómo Votar en una Tableta de Marcar Boletas


If voters choose to complete their ballot by hand, the appropriate ballot for each voter is printed. Once the voter completes marking the ballot, the voter deposits the ballot in the Ballot Box.

Ballot Boxes are returned to the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division, where central high-speed scanners count the paper ballots and tabulate votes. As ballots are reviewed during the canvass, the system creates a complete audit trail documenting how each mark on each ballot was interpreted and tallied.