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Elections Manager: 'We Count Every Vote'

David Tom put to rest the rumor that California election officials don't count paper ballots.

Even though voter turnout was low in Tuesday's , every vote--whether cast in an electronic voting booth, paper ballot, mail-in, or provisional ballot--will be counted, according to San Mateo County Elections Manager David Tom.

"In California the rumor that we don't count every vote is false," said Tom. "That's why it doesn't happen overnight and it takes 28 days to certify the results. Voters in San Mateo County have to have their voices heard."

Tom was referring to the long-standing rumor that unless a race is closely contested, vote-by-mail, or absentee ballots are not counted.

"Everyone residing in the county will have their ballot counted," he said.

He explained that California has a central ballot count--all ballots are returned to the county's election office to be counted. San Mateo County Election Office on Tower Road is where the official count will take place on Tuesday night. "Which is why it takes a bit of time to get the counts in. You have to take in to account driving time--such as from Pacifica."

"Turnout is low, but there have been a lot of changes in California since the voters passed Proposition 14 in 2010," Tom said referring to the California Two Primaries Act that requires candidates run in a single primary open to all registered voters.

Voters can vote in the primary election for any candidate for a congressional or state elective office without regard to the political party affiliations of either the candidate or the voter. The top two vote-getters meet in a runoff. The act does not apply to presidential or central committee candidates.

In San Mateo County, of the five central committees, only District 2 had a contest Tom said.

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