Federal election monitors to visit San Mateo County on Election Day

Elections officials from the US Department of Justice will be in San Mateo County on Election Day as part of a nationwide program to monitor the polls.

San Mateo and Sacramento counties are two of the 35 places across the country where federal election monitors will be keeping an eye on the polls. They are the only two places in California on the list.

Officials would not disclose why specifically San Mate County, but they said in general, the decision to monitor a specific location is based on a number of factors. One thing different about voting in San Mateo County this year is that as part of the voters choice program, all registered voters automatically received a mail-in ballot. And voters no longer have neighborhood-specific polling places if you're a registered voter you can vote anywhere in the county.

An elections official in San Mateo County noted that those new changes, may have played a role in the federal election monitors deciding to pay a visit 

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said they will be visiting more than 170,000 precincts across America in 19 different states.

What will they be monitoring, exactly?

According to a statement from Sessions’ office, representatives from his department's  civil rights division will be looking for things like: Whether voters in those counties meet the listed requirements to be registered, whether voters comply with  requirements to cast a provisional ballot and whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications, based on their race, gender or language.

San Mateo County elections officials don't seem to be concerned about the visit. The assistant chief elections officer says it's all part of a normal elections routine.