May 3 election: Public invited to observe


The San Mateo County Elections Office will begin opening and processing ballots on April 22 for the all-mail May 3 election. The public is invited to observe the process.

All voters in the county can vote to fill the District 1 seat on the county Board of Supervisors, which was vacated when Mark Church was elected chief elections officer. Those in the Ravenswood City School District can vote on a parcel tax measure.

Voting is by mail only, and ballots must be received by the Elections Office no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.

Starting April 22, ballots can be opened, scanned and prepared for tabulation, Mr. Church said in a statement. Votes can't be tallied or reported until 8 p.m. Election Day (May 3).

Observers can see the process, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 22, at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo, and continues everyday until every eligible ballot received before Election Day is processed.

Ballots dropped off at city halls, the Elections Office at 40 Tower Road, and the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office on Election Day will be counted during the "official canvass," which begins after the polls close and continues for 28 days while election results are audited before certification.

As of April 20, a total of 41,792 ballots have been received, said Mr. Church. That is 12 percent of the 342,500 registered voters in the county.

Anyone interested in observing the process is asked to contact Elections Supervisor Narda Barrientos at (650) 312-5365 or to arrange a visit. Staff will be assigned to those visiting to answer questions, Mr. Church said.

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