Election Frequently Asked Questions
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Election Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I register to vote?

You may register online here: http://registertovote.ca.gov/ 

You may register by mailing a completed Voter Registration Form to the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division. Forms are available in person at public libraries, city and county offices, California Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and at U.S. Post Offices, or via on-line download. You may also call the San Mateo County Election office at (650) 312-5222 to mail a form to you within one business day.




2. How do I find out my polling place?

You can also look up your polling place online at https://www.shapethefuture.org/apps/voterlookup/Default.aspx or look on the back cover of your Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet. It's important to double-check the location because polling place locations change from time to time. Voters typically receive their sample ballot pamphlets approximately 30 days before the election.




3. When are the polls open for voting?

Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.  By law, you have a right to vote if you are in line at the polling place by the close of the polls.




4. What should I do if I think my Vote by Mail ballot will not arrive at the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division by the 8 p.m. deadline?

You may come in person to the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo and drop it off any time before Election Day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Election Day, you may return your Vote by Mail ballot to the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division or any polling place in San Mateo County between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.




5. When is the candidate filing period for the General Municipal Election on November 5, 2013?

Between July 15, 2013 and August 9, 2013




6. When will I receive my County Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Pamphlet and State Voter Information Guide for the General Municipal Election on November 5, 2013?

These items will be mailed between September 26, 2013 and October 15, 2013 to every voter who is registered at least 29 days prior to the election.




7. When may a registered voter request a Vote by mail ballot for the General Municipal Election on November 5, 2013?

Any registered voter may request a Vote by mail ballot between October 7, 2013 and October 29, 2013. Any requests received prior to October 7 will be kept until this period and then processed.




8. When is the last day to register to vote for the General Municipal Election on November 5, 2013?

Voter registration closes on October 21, 2013 for this election.




9. Where can I get the election results?

The counting of ballots will commence when all polls are closed within the County of San Mateo. It is anticipated that the first report of semi-official results (Vote by Mail ballots only) will be released at 8:05 p.m., with cumulative updates scheduled every 30 minutes until completion. There are two different ways you may inquire about Election Night Semi-Official results:

  1. View the results as they are posted on our website www.shapethefuture.org.
  2. Subscribe to e-mail via subscription form posted on www.shapethefuture.org one week prior to the election.



10. How do I qualify for Permanent Vote by Mail Status?

California allows any voter to request Permanent Vote by Mail status. Simply complete the online form at https://www.shapethefuture.org/votingoptions/permanentvbm.asp  or fill out the request form on the back of the Sample Ballot & Official Voter Information Guide, sign it and mail it back to the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division one week before the election.  You may also call (650) 312-5222 and request an application from our office. A Vote by Mail ballot will automatically be sent to you for all future elections.




11. Who may register to vote?

You may register to vote if you said yes to all of the following:

  1. 1.A US citizen
  2. 2. A resident of California
  3. 3. At least 18 years of age on or before the next election
  4. 4. Not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction
  5. 5. Not declared mentally incompetent by court action


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