Election Potpourri

The Blog

We started this blog to give you an inside look at Elections in San Mateo County. We weren’t sure how popular it would be, but if our blog stats are any indication, you like it!

The past two days have seen a surge in blog traffic, with over 3,000 visitors checking out what we have to say. Thank you for supporting our effort to engage the community in our democracy.

And remember, comments on posts are encouraged – ask questions, raise concerns, offer praise. You can even subscribe to an RSS feed to get the latest posts delivered straight to your desktop.

Semi-Official Results for the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary

If you haven’t visited RaceTracker yet, click here to check out the semi-official results for the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election.

There’s some great information to be taken from the semi-official report (other than the results), such as statistics indicating how many voters voted by mail vs. at the polling places.

According to our reports, turnout was dismal. Only 19.74 percent of registered voters chose to vote this election. On the bright side? Over 57 percent of voters who voted did so by mail!

For a reminder on how voting by mail can help save money, check out the blog post from April 14.

And don’t forget, we still have more results to publish. The reason the current report is called the “Semi-Official Results” is because voters who dropped of Vote by Mail ballots at the polls, and voters who voted provisionally, still need to be counted. Those votes take longer because signatures have to be verified.

That being said, more results are on their way. You can click here to view our RaceTracker. Keep tabs on the races you want to track or view the overall election summary. Results should be published in accordance with the schedule below (times are approximate). Keep a look out for any updates to this schedule by visiting the Elections Office web site at www.shapethefuture.org.

Wed., June 4 – 4:30 p.m.
Fri., June 6 – 4:30 p.m.
Mon., June 9 – 4:30 p.m.

The Canvass

Still counting Vote By Mail ballots during the Official Canvass of the Vote

An elections process favored by Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum, he has said “The canvass is the least understood, most important part of the elections process.”

The canvass is actually a 28-day period following the election in which vote tallies are completed and ballots and votes are reconciled. A manual tally of at least one percent of the votes cast in each race verifies that votes cast by voters are correctly reflected in results reports.

Election Day has come and gone, but until all the votes are counted and an audit is done, the Election itself is far from over.

Presidential Primary Pricetag

When the State Legislature added the February Presidential Primary this year, the price of democracy went up by about $2 million dollars in San Mateo County alone. Primaries are much more expensive elections to conduct because of the complexities associated with creating the extra ballots styles and voter information pamphlets, the testing involved with the voting equipment, the extra training for poll workers who are assisting partisan and decline-to-state voters, and on and on and on…The State Senate is holding a hearing this morning to decide whether and if counties will be held harmless for all or part of the election costs associated with the conduct of the 2008 Presidential Primary. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: We just got word that the Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee set aside the money to reimburse counties for the 2008 Presidential Primary Election.  While this is great news, we do have to wait until the final budget is approved to determine whether or not the state’s commitment remains intact.  For now, we’re hopeful.

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