SAN MATEO COUNTY (KPIX 5) — Federal authorities are keeping a close eye on San Mateo County ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The Department of Justice is taking a look at the county’s election because it’s using a cutting-edge ballot system for the first time.

“Well, we are the first county under the California Voters’ Choice Act to conduct elections under a new model which is an all-mail ballot, with an election center an all drop-off locations,” explained Jim Irazarry, the Assistant Chief of Elections for the county.

The process is well-underway in preparation for Tuesday’s ballot casting. Ballots collected by mail and at drop-off locations are already moving through the sorting facility.

The DOJ is specifically focusing on voting materials that are being sent out in Spanish and Chinese.

This situation offers what might be a glimpse into California’s voting future: a slow disappearance of the neighborhood polling place.

“We’re seeing brisk voting going on right now, we’re outpacing the 2014 election considerably,” said Irazarry.

The other counties trying this ballot system in 2018 are Napa, Nevada, Madera and Sacramento Counties, all of which are on the DOJ’s watch list.

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