Tax measures left off of ballot

Daily Post Staff Writer

Some 2,046 San Mateo County residents will end up with two ballots due because a number of ballot questions were left off some ballots by the county’s elections office and its vendor.

That does not mean that people will get to vote twice however, according to Assistant Chief Elections Officer Jim Irizzary.

People are getting a second ballot in parts of San Carlos, Portola Valley, San Mateo and La Honda because the election’s office’s vendor, K&H Integrity Communications, did not follow the county’s instructions when printing the ballots, Irizarry said.

This resulted in 1,081 people getting ballots that omitted ballot measures for Portola Valley School District, San Carlos School District and San Mateo Union High School District.

Some 1,009 voters in those same three districts and the La Honda-Pescadero School District had different, or an extra measure show up on their ballots, according to Irizarry.

All of the school districts were told of the mishap last Friday, and the elections office sent out new ballots with a bright yellow mailer to residents letting them know to discard their previous ballots.

All voters were also contacted by either phone or email to let them know about the blunder, Irizarry said.

Look for the new ballot

San Carlos Community Relations Director Amber Farinha said yesterday that the district wants to make sure voters are aware to look out for their new ballots.

San Carlos School District is seeking to add $88 to the existing parcel tax rate of $246.60 for a total of $334.60. This will extend the tax for another eight years. The tax requires 66.7% approval to pass.

In 2015, the parcel tax measure narrowly passed by 110 votes.

Irizarry said the March 5 primary is the largest election the county has held, with 413,000 registered voters and 10,920 different types of ballots for the county.
No additional cost will be incurred by the misprint, since it was caused by K&H, Irizarry said.

Previous problems

This isn’t the first time that there has been a snafu with ballots. In October 2018, some ballots were mailed a week late because some of them didn’t include a race for the county Board of Education.

About the other measures impacted by the misprint:

Measure L is a bond measure for San Mateo Union High School District. The district would borrow $385 million, which would be repaid with a $155.50 tax per $1 million of assessed property value. The estimated total repayment amount is $815 million. The district says the bonds would pay for repairs and upgrades to classrooms. It would also pay for construction of housing for school employees.

Measure M is a parcel tax for the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District. The measure would renew an existing parcel tax for another seven years. The tax would charge property owners $130 per parcel. The district says the tax will pay for teachers’ professional development and add technology in classrooms.

Measure P is a parcel tax for the Portola Valley School District. The measure would renew an existing parcel tax for another eight years. The tax would charge property owners $581 per parcel beginning July 1, 2021. The district says the money would go for maintaining existing classes, paying teachers, buying new technology and maintaining library services and PE classes.

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