Making Democracy Work

Voter Education

We make voting easier through varied voter education programs.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund conducts voter service and citizen education activities. It is a nonpartisan nonprofit public policy educational organization, which:

  • Builds citizen participation in the democratic process.

  • Studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner.

  • Enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

Donations to the Education Fund, a 501(c)(3)corporation, are fully tax-deductible where allowed by law.

Election Questions, Answers and Information

What is the last date to register to vote and the last date to request an absentee ballot? The last date to register is 15 days before the election. You can request an absentee ballot at the San Mateo County Elections Office at 50 Tower Road in San Mateo.

How long are the polls open? Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. All those waiting in line at 8 p.m. will be permitted to vote.

My absentee ballot hasn't arrived. What should I do? Go to http://www.shapethefuture.org/ to track your absentee ballot. If one has not arrived, you can call the Elections Office at (650) 312-5222 to request that a duplicate be sent. You may also request and vote a ballot at the Elections Office, anytime from now through 8 p.m. on Election Day. Or you can vote in person at your usual polling place, which you can find on the Shape the Future Web site.

I'm not sure my absentee ballot was recorded. How can I make sure?* If there is any question about whether the county has a record of your vote, you can request a Provisional Ballot at your usual polling place. It will be counted once election officials determine that your absentee ballot was not turned in.

What's the latest date I should mail my absentee ballot? Your ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Postmarks do not count. For that reason, it's best to mail your ballot well in advance of Election Day. If you're not sure it will get there in time, you can take it to your usual polling place on Election Day or to the Elections Office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo on or before Election Day.

I usually vote at the polls but must be out of town. Can I still vote? Yes. You can vote anytime within 29 days prior to an election by going to the Elections Office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, whether or not you have an absentee ballot.

I have an absentee ballot, but I'm going to be away (or am ill or disabled) on Election Day. What should I do? Absentee ballots include instructions on how to designate an "authorized agent" to return your absentee ballot for you. Or you can drive to the Elections Office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo and turn it in on or before Election Day. There are also absentee ballot drop boxes in each City Hall in San Mateo County.

I made an error while marking my absentee ballot. What should I do? If there's still time to get another absentee ballot mailed, mark an "X" in the box on the upper left-hand side on the flap of the return envelope and return it to the Elections Office. Otherwise, take it in person to 40 Tower Road in San Mateo and request another ballot.

How can I find out more about how and where to vote? Go to San Mateo County's official voter info site, http://www.shapethefuture.org/, or the League of Women's Voters site, http://www.smartvoter.org/.

Directions to 40 Tower Road in San Mateo: Take Highway 101 south to Highway 92 and go west on Highway 92. Take the Ralston Avenue exit toward Belmont. Turn right onto Ralston Avenue, which become Polhemus Road. Turn left onto Tower Road. The Elections Office is up a steep driveway on the left side. Information verified with San Mateo County Elections Office on October 24, 2005

  • Here's How to Track Your Absentee Ballot:

Absentee Voters can log on http://www.shapethefuture.org, click on the Track & Confirm link and enter their street number, zip code and birth date. Receipt of the ballot will be confirmed, along with the date when it was received.