San Mateo County election officials predict 85 percent voter turnout

in Community

With historic voter turnout the day before Election Day, San Mateo County election officials say they expect to tally the ample ballots rapidly with new high-speed equipment and rotating staff schedules. Still, amid national controversy over the potential for delayed results in the Presidential Election, officials are making it a point to remind the public that, by law, certified results in San Mateo County do not need to be released until Dec. 3.

While mail voting is a shift for many jurisdictions nationally, San Mateo County has done all-mail balloting for several years.

Here’s the reason results aren’t certified until Dec. 3.

“This is to permit us the maximum amount of time to follow up with voters whose ballots have a correctable issue – a missing or mismatched signature, most commonly,” said Jim Irizarry, San Mateo County assistant chief of elections officer.

Another key date in the tallying is Nov. 20. Normally, the county may accept ballots properly postmarked on or before Election Day as long as they arrive at the Elections Office within three days after the election, Irizarry said. However, due to the pandemic the state has extended that period for this election up to 17 days.

“That said, absent any serious disruption to the postal system we expect the majority of mailed ballots to arrive within the first few days after the election,” Irizarry said.

As of Monday afternoon, San Mateo County had up to 443,355 registered voters, of whom 289,146 have cast ballots, 275,236 by mail and 13,910 at the Vote Centers, Irizzary said.

“Presently we are at a 65.22 percent turnout during the Early Voting Period as of Nov. 1, which is a historical high for this date in time, two days before the election,”he said. “Based on the high voter turnout during the Early Voting Period, we anticipate we will be around 85 percent or higher for this election.”

Photo of San Carlos voting drop box courtesy of San Mateo County’s elections office