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Election Information

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Election Information

Changes to Voting in the June Primary and November Elections (County-wide).

The California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) is landmark legislation which fundamentally transforms the manner in which elections will be conducted in the State of California. San Mateo County is proud to be one of 14 counties authorized by the State to conduct elections under the new law.

Below is a link to information regarding California’s Voters Choice Act, which changes how we will cast our ballots in June and November of 2018.

California Voter’s Choice Act

Town of Portola Valley's Next Election - June 5, 2018

On February 28, 2018, the Town Council adopted a Resolution calling for a Special Election for June 5, 2018. The election is an all-mailed ballot election.

The Council placed the following advisory measure on the ballot for consideration:

Ballot Question - Measure "T"
Temporary Tax Reduction: Shall the ordinance be adopted to amend Chapter 3.32 of the Portola Valley Municipal Code to reduce the general purpose Utility Users Tax levied on telephone, gas, water and electricity, from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent, for a period of five years with authority given to the Town Council to further reduce the tax rate by resolution?

Deadline for Ballot Arguments – (
There were no ballot measure arguments filed for or against Measure T).
The deadline for the filing a ballot argument for or against the measure shall not exceed 300 words, and shall be filed with the Town Clerk no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 16, 2018.

Deadline for Written Rebuttal Arguments
The deadline for the filing a rebuttal argument shall not exceed 250 words and shall be filed no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, March 26.

Deadline for the Town Attorney Impartial Analysis
The deadline for the filing of the Town Attorney Impartial Analysis, not to exceed 500 words is 5:00 pm on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Town Attorneys Impartial Analysis

This ballot measure asks whether the people of the Town of Portola Valley desire to temporarily lower the existing 5.5% Utility Users Tax (UUT) levied on telephone, gas, water and electricity charges to 4.5% for a period of five years, from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023. On July 1, 2023, the tax will revert to 5.5%.   

Effective July 1, 2020, this measure also gives authority to the Town Council to further reduce the UUT tax rate below 4.5% for a period not to exceed twelve months. Upon expiration of the decrease period, the rate shall automatically revert back to 4.5% without voter approval or Council action. The Town Council may adopt consecutive temporary tax rate reductions. 

The UUT is a general tax. General taxes are not limited to a specific purpose and can be used for general City operating expenses and capital improvements, such as police, fire, and maintenance of streets, parks, trails and drainage structures.   

This ballot measure does not affect the Town’s second Utility Users Tax, a 2% Special Utility Users Tax on telephone, gas, water and electricity charges. The proceeds of this Special UUT are deposited into the Town’s restricted Open Space Fund. 

A “Yes” vote means the voter is in favor of temporarily reducing the UUT to 4.5% for a period of five years.  A “No” vote means the voter is not in favor of reducing the UUT and the rate will remain at 5.5%.  In order for the tax to be reduced to 4.5%, the ballot measure must be approved by more than 50% of the voters voting on the measure.

Additional Information
Rebuttals, like primary arguments, must include the following title:

“Argument in Favor of Measure __” or “Argument Against Measure __” and “Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure __” or “Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure __” respectively.

There is a 10-calendar day examination period for public review of all arguments. The 10-calendar-day public review period begins on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm and ends March 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm for primary arguments filed in favor of or against ballot measure. The review period for rebuttals to primary arguments in favor of or against ballot measure begins on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm and ends Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm.    

Am I registered to vote?
Click here to see if you are currently registered to vote.

I need to register to vote.
Click here to register to vote on-line. The provided link will take you to the Secretary of State website. Scroll down the page to the prompt that states “Register to Vote Now.” You must provide your California Drivers License number and/or the last four digits of your social security number to apply on-line.

In addition to registering to vote via this website, you can also pick up voter registration forms at Town Hall, public libraries, county offices, post offices and the Department of Motor Vehicles. You may also call the Elections Office at (650) 312-5222 and they will mail you a form.

How do I vote by mail?
To become a permanent Vote by Mail voter, print, complete, sign and mail back the permanent Vote by Mail application. The return instructions are at the bottom of the application form.

If you send a letter requesting to be permanently registered to Vote by Mail, you must include the following information: your full name, residence address (in San Mateo County), mailing address where you want your ballot sent (if different from your residence address), the name and date of the election, and your signature.

Applications to Vote by Mail must be received by the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division, at 40 Tower Road, San Mateo, seven days prior to the election.

Early Voting Options Available for Voters with Disabilities
The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division wants to be sure that registered San Mateo County voters with disabilities are aware of the various options available to help them vote during the 29-day period leading up to each election, including the November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election. During this early voting period, registered voters with disabilities may participate in the standard Vote by Mail program, which allows voters to receive a ballot by mail and return that ballot by mail or in person.

In addition, registered voters with disabilities have three other options:
1) You may request to have a Vote by Mail ballot personally delivered to your home.
2) You may request that Elections Division staff bring an accessible version of the County’s electronic voting machine to a
    convenient location such as your home for the voter to cast an electronic ballot privately and independently.
3) You may request that the Elections Division staff arrange free transportation to and from a Voting Center
    during the early voting period, where the County’s accessible electronic voting machine may be used by the voter. 

Go green and get your future voter pamphlets online!

Helpful Websites

San Mateo County Elections link. This election site includes a wide variety of helpful information on upcoming elections. You can also check your registration, confirm your registration status, find your polling place, track and confirm your ballot and request a vote by mail ballot.

Fair Political Practices Commission

League of Women Voters

California Election Code

Please visit our Important Contact Information page for current information on Portola Valley's elected district and state representatives.

Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact Sharon Hanlon, Town Clerk at and/or (650) 851-1700 ext. 210.