Election Day 2014: What you need to know to cast your vote


Local voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4, where they will select new leaders for their cities and school districts, as well as weigh in on proposed ballot measures and other issues. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

What's on the ballot?

This year, residents are casting ballots for two Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education seats and five spots on the Palo Alto City Council, as well as for two members of the East Palo Alto City Council and three for the Ravenswood City School District. Also up for the vote: one Santa Clara Valley Water District seat.

There are also several Palo Alto issues on the ballot, including Measure B, which would increase the city's transient occupancy tax – the tax added to visitors' hotel bills – from 12 percent to 14 percent; Measure C, which would update the utility users tax by broadening the portion of the tax targeting landline telephone bills to reflect all forms of telephone communication services, including cell phones, voice-over Internet protocol, and other technologies that enable point-to-point communications; and Measure D, which would reduce the number of City Council members from nine to seven.

How and where can I vote?

If you are registered to vote, you have two options to cast your ballot: vote by mail or show up to the polls on Election Day. Here are the details on each:

Vote by mail: If you haven't sent your vote-by-mail ballots in, completed ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday -- not simply put in the mail. They can be turned in at the City Clerk's Office at Palo Alto City Hall, at 250 Hamilton Ave.; any Santa Clara County polling place (see below for a list of Palo Alto's voting locations); or the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' Office, at 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2 in San Jose.

About 25 percent of Palo Alto voters have already returned their ballots, according to the Registrar of Voters' Office. Of the 583,381 issued in the entire county, 150,349 have been returned.

In San Mateo County, vote-by-mail ballots can be dropped off at any active polling place in the county or either of the county's two voting centers, which are located at 555 County Center in Redwood City and the Registration and Elections Division, at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo, said Mark Church, chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder.

"So far we have received 66,863 vote-by-mail ballots," Church said.

For a list of precincts in East Palo Alto, see below.

Ballots must be sealed inside the provided return envelope, which must be signed by the voter and returned no later than 8 p.m. Voters can track the status of their mail-in ballots here.

Vote on Election Day: The following polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Palo Alto:

• Palo Alto High School at 50 Embarcadero Road

• University Lutheran Church at 1611 Stanford Ave.

• Palo Alto Community Childcare Center at 3990 Ventura Court

• St. Andrews United Methodist Church at 4111 Alma St.

• Fairmeadow Elementary School multi-purpose room at 500 E. Meadow Drive

• Unity Palo Alto Community Church at 3391 Middlefield Road

• Grace Lutheran Church at 3149 Waverley St.

• Crossroads Community Church at 2490 Middlefield Road

• St. Marks Episcopal Church at 600 Colorado Ave.

• Feldman Residence at 2121 Waverley St.

• Gamble Garden Center - Carriage House at 1431 Waverley St.

• First Lutheran Church at 600 Homer Ave .

• All Saints Episcopal Church library at 555 Waverley St.

• Channing House board room at 850 Webster St.

• Lytton Gardens Court Yard at 330 Everett Ave.

• Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1295 Middlefield Road

• Seventh Day Adventist Church at 786 Channing Ave.

• Walter Hays Elementary School at 1525 Middlefield Road

• Kartchner Residence at 577 Patricia Lane

• Palo Alto Buddhist Temple at 2751 Louis Road

• First Congregational Church at 1985 Louis Road

• Palo Alto Buddhist Temple at 2751 Louis Road

• Friends Meeting Of Palo Alto at 957 Colorado Ave.

• Palo Alto Fire Station No. 2 at 2675 Hanover St.

• Palo Verde School multi-purpose room at 3450 Louis Road

• Barron Park School multi-purpose room at 800 Barron Ave.

• Eichler Swim & Tennis Club at 3539 Louis Road

• Juana Briones School multi-purpose room at 4100 Orme St.

• Palo Alto Church Of Christ multi-purpose room at 3373 Middlefield Road

• Palo Alto Fire Station No. 5 at 600 Arastradero Road

The following voting stations are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in East Palo Alto:

• St. Francis Church at Parish Hall 1425 Bay Road

• City Of East Palo Alto Community Room at 2415 University Ave.

• Costano School library at 2695 Fordham St.

• Seventh-Day Adventist Church youth room at 994 Beech St.

• East Palo Alto Academy library at 1050 Myrtle St.

• Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church social hall at 1981 Pulgas Ave.

• Newell Road Apartments at 55 Newell Road

• St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church at 330 Donohoe St.

• Ravenswood City School District Office at 2120 Euclid Ave.

Where can I view election results?

The Palo Alto Weekly will be keeping you updated throughout the night with voter turnout, results, photos and candidate speeches and reactions on our website as well as on Twitter.

Santa Clara County will start posting election results at 8 p.m. Tuesday starting with vote-by-mail ballots, said Michelle Choates of the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters' Office.

"The (results) after that will be ... from the polls on a flow basis as they come in," Choates said. "We will then count the remaining VBM (vote-by-mail) ballots thereafter on Nov. 5 until finished. Once all of these ballots are counted, we will starting counting provisional ballots, which are the last priority."

Results can be viewed on the Registrar of Voters' Office website and the SCCVOTE mobile app, which can be downloaded on the website.

San Mateo County will post results beginning at 8:05 p.m. on the Registration & Elections Division website, which will be updated every half-hour until all precincts have been accounted for, according to a press release from the Office of Mark Church.

The results release schedule is as follows:

• 8:05 p.m.: Vote-by-mail ballots received before Election Day

• 8:30 p.m.: Mail ballot precincts

• 9:00 p.m.: Early voting centers

• 9:30 p.m. and each half-hour until complete: Live precinct ballots

• 11:30 p.m.: Final election night report (The final election night report should be released between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.)

Election results can also be viewed on the "RaceTracker" web app, which allows users to track results by using a drop-down menu.

Visit the Weekly's online Election Central to catch up on all the latest news and candidate information on the Palo Alto school board campaign and City Council race.

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Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I hope every one votes! This is a very important election. I want a no growth/slow growth Palo Alto council. Push the success of Silicon Valley to other communities. We have enough success. Quality of life over quantity of life, any day. This is why I voted for Holman, Dubois, Weiss, Filseth, and Kou. Return traffic levels to the 1990s or 1980s! There are other places to work/live! We are maxed out.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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