The 1999 San Mateo Civil Grand Jury received a complaint alleging improper handling of election materials including an approximate two-hour delay in the counting of votes from the City of San Bruno Municipal Election on November 2, 1999.
The grand jury received the complaint at the end of the 1999 term. Since there was not adequate time to conduct an investigation, the matter was referred to the 2000-2001 Grand Jury.
The research and investigation conducted by this grand jury determined computer equipment failure caused the delay. The investigation further revealed that a comprehensive emergency plan is in place and a broken computer component was replaced in a timely fashion. There were no missing ballots and the election results (electronic memory packs) or ballots were never out of the county's chain of custody.
We find the allegation of inappropriate handling of election materials resulting in a delay in reporting results to be untrue.
We commend the staff of the Office of Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder for developing, implementing and continually upgrading a system of safeguards to ensure the integrity of the election process in San Mateo County.
The grand jury compliments the staff of the Elections Division on their consistent timeliness in reporting election results. According to the Secretary of State, of the fifty-eight counties in California, the Elections Division is ranked 6th in initial reporting and 2nd in final reporting.