Ballot Processing Begins New Flurry of Activity

Seven business days before an election, the already buzzing Elections Office begins a new flurry of activity as Vote by Mail ballots are extracted and processed to begin the vote count.

At 8:05 p.m. on Nov. 4, the first set of results will be posted online at http://www.shapethefuture.org and released to the public.  This set of results includes all returned Vote by Mail ballots that were returned prior to Election Day.  Vote by Mail ballots returned at the polls on Election Day are counted along with all of the other ballots, and are not included in the first set of results.

As we mentioned in our previous post, Vote by Mail ballots must first be verified through the signature on the outer flap of the envelopes.  Verified ballot envelopes are placed in a separate area to await ballot extraction and processing.

“Early opening of Vote by Mail ballot envelopes allows us to get a head start on the processing of hundreds of thousands of votes,” San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum said. “It allows us to bring you fast results on Election Night as well. Our first results are available on our Web site five minutes after the polls close.”

As of Oct. 23, nearly 54,195 voted Vote by Mail ballots have been received at the Elections Office. More than 179,000 Vote by Mail ballots have been requested to date, representing about 47 percent of San Mateo County’s registered voters.

Voters can check whether the Elections Office received their voted Vote by Mail ballot by using the Track & Confirm feature on www.shapethefuture.org. Voters whose ballot envelopes were rejected for lack of a signature or other incorrect or missing information will be notified.

All members of the public are welcome to observe ballot extraction and processing.  For more information, contact Elections Supervisor Narda Garcia at (650) 312-5365 or ngarcia@smcare.org.

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