Choose a category below:
Click on a question to open and read its answer.
You can find out if you are registered to vote in Marin County by:
Persons who meet all of the following requirements are eligible to register to vote:
You can register to vote any time, but if you want to vote in an election, your voter registration must be received by the Elections Department or postmarked by 15 days before that election. You should register as early as possible so that you receive your sample ballot and voter guide in the mail. If you register later than 29 days before an election, you may not receive this information. Fourteen days prior to an election through Election Day, you may register online or in the Elections Department; you must come to the Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Election Day to get a ballot.
You can register online at the CA Secretary of State website.
You must fill out a paper voter registration form, sign it, and return it by mail or in person to the Marin County Elections Department.
You can register online at the CA Secretary of State website, or call (415) 473-6456 to request a voter registration form.
You may also pick up a voter registration form at:
We will send you a notice and ask you to provide the missing information. After you provide the required information, you will be registered to vote.
If there is a problem with your ID information, the Secretary of State will let us know and you will be given a chance to correct your information. In 4-5 weeks, you should receive a card that confirms that you are registered to vote. If your information has not been verified in time for Election Day, you can cast a provisional ballot when you go to the polls.
If you —
You can re-register online or you can get a voter registration form at:
Change your mailing address:
Election mail cannot be forwarded.
You can change your mailing address by:
Your name may not be on the roster of voters at the polls on election day. That means you may have to vote a provisional ballot, which may not have all of the candidates or measures that are on the ballot for your current address.
The post office will not forward your election mail, even if you update your address with them.
In the Presidential Primary Election, you might not be able to vote for the specific party candidate you want.
You can still register to vote. Write the address of a shelter or the cross streets of where you sleep on your voter registration form. Be sure to provide your mailing address.
Yes. A voter's name can be taken off the voter registration list for the following reasons:
Voters who do not vote in two consecutive General Elections (which take place in even numbered years) will be moved to the inactive voter file. The voter will receive a notice that their names will be placed in the inactive voter file unless they reply to the notice.
Voters on the inactive list are still registered in Marin County. However the voter will not receive election mail (ballot, voter information pamphlet, and sample ballot) or have their name in the roster at their polling place.
Yes. You can cancel your registration in Marin County by filling out and returning the Registration Cancellation Form.
Under the California Election Laws you must re-register to vote.
Look for the address on the back cover of the County Voter Information Guide, or for each election on the Election Schedule in the Polling Information section.
Voting at the polls is easy! Here’s how it
Just let a poll worker know what kind of help
You must show ID only if:
You can still vote. The poll worker will give
you a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be
counted if we confirm you are properly
registered, and you only voted once in this
The most common reasons are:
Contact the Elections Department twenty-eight (28) days after the election.
Starting 29 days before the election, you may:
Starting 7 days before the election the Elections Department will no longer mail vote by mail ballots. You must:
Because it’s safe, accurate, fast, and easy.
Yes. In 2007, the law changed the name to "voting by mail."
Yes! We must receive your request at least seven (7) days before the election.
You must apply in person at the Elections Department office.
If you are unable to get to our office, you may authorize someone, in writing, to return your application for you. We will give that person a vote-by-mail ballot for you.
Yes! request a vote by mail ballot for a specific election by:
Yes. Take your both your vote-by-mail ballot and the yellow return envelope to the polling place, and ask for a polling place ballot. Even if you do not have your vote-by-mail ballot and the return envelope, you can vote a provisional ballot.
No, not unless you want to. You can apply to vote by mail for just one election. Or you can apply to be a permanent vote-by-mail voter and get your ballot in the mail automatically before every election. Notify the Marin County Elections Department to cancel your permanent vote by mail status.
Vote-by-mail ballots are mailed starting 29 days before the election. You can vote as soon as you receive your ballot.
If you do not receive your ballot within 15 day before the election:
We mail election materials to all vote-by-mail voters starting twenty-nine (29) days before the election. You will receive a:
If you are traveling within the U.S., we can mail you a vote by mail ballot starting 29 day before the election. Contact the Marin County Elections Department.
If you are traveling outside the U.S., we can mail you a vote by mail ballot starting 60 day before the election. You must re-register as an over-seas voter or contact the Marin County Elections Department. You must have an over-seas mailing address for your request to be processed.
No! Vote-by-mail ballots cannot be forwarded. Fill out a new voter registration card with your updated information at least 15 days before the election.
After 7 days before the election it is too late to mail you a replacement ballot, you may pick one up at the Elections Department or vote provisionally at the polls.
Call us at (415) 473-6456, and we will send you a replacement ballot.
Draw a line through the oval and the incorrect vote. Then fill in the oval for the correct vote, and write "correct" next to the correct vote.
Or you can:
Place your ballot in the yellow return envelope provided in the packet. Sign the envelope. Then, return your ballot.
You can —
Sign your return envelope!
If you do not, your ballot will not be counted.
Your ballot must be post marked on or before election day and received within three days after the election. If you do not mail your ballot, it must be returned by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day to a polling place or the Elections Office.
We will send you a letter notifying you that your return envelope was not signed. Follow the directions on the letter and return it to us or you can come in to the election department.
We must receive the letter or you must come to the Election Department by 2 days before we certify the Election. if you do not respond your ballot will not be counted.
Yes. Track your ballot online with our Voter Information Portal (VIP) or use our automated phone system, available 24/7, that can check if your ballot was received. Call (415) 473-6456.
If the Elections Office receives your vote-by-mail ballot the Friday before election day, it will be counted by 8 PM on election day. If the Elections Office receives your vote-by-mail ballot after the Friday before election day or you drop your vote-by-mail ballot off at the polls, it will be counted within 10 days after election day.
We follow these steps:
We count all ballots turned in by the Friday before election day by 8 PM on election day. (In Marin County, 76% of vote-by-mail voters turn in their ballots before the election.)
We count ballots that are turned in or received after the Friday before election day within a week of the election.
We work hard at getting polling places that are
accessible for all people. But sometimes this is
To know if your polling place is accessible:
Yes, You can:
A voter who is unable to enter his/her polling place because it is inaccessible
may request assignment to an accessible polling place by calling
(415) 473-6439 no later than 2 weeks before the election.
You may request that a paper ballot be brought to you outside the polling
place. The poll worker will bring you a ballot and deposit it in the ballot box
after you have voted.
Marin Access was designed and is sponsored by Marin Transit to coordinate transportation resources for Marin’s older adults, persons with disabilities and low-income residents, along with others who cannot or choose not to drive.
Each polling place has:
The Secretary of State has a TDD hotline: TDD 1-800-833-8683.
All state propositions are available on audio tape. Call us if you want one: (415) 473-6456.
We will point out the instructions in the voting booth, and show you how to mark your ballot using demonstration ballots. Some precincts have bilingual poll workers and translated facsimile ballots. Let us know if your precinct needs bilingual poll workers.
Proposition 14, approved by voters in 2010, changed the way your ballot looks in primary elections. Some people call this law the “Top Two Candidate Primary”.
In open primaries all candidates for state and federal offices, except for President and party central committees, will appear on the same ballot.
Voters, not political parties, will nominate candidates for state and federal offices, except for President and party central committees. You can vote for any candidate on the ballot for:
When you vote, you will see the names of all candidates for these offices on the same ballot. You can vote for any candidate even if you are not in the same political party.
The offices of President and Party Central Committees will be on separate party ballots and are still chosen by voters registered in that party. This is only on Presidential Primary Election ballots.
All other types of elections, all candidates will be on the ballot regardless of party.
No. You can only vote the ballot for your party.
Some, but not all political parties will allow you to vote for their candidates for President. To do that, you can ask for a part ballot of a party that has allowed you to choose their party's ballot at the polls on Election Day.
If you vote by mail, we will mail you a card with the available party's you can choose. Return the card with the party ballot of you choice or:
Before the Presidential Primary Election contact the Secretary of State’s Office for information.
Make sure you are registered to vote in the party of your choice by the cutoff date for the election. Your registration should list your current home address and the political party you prefer, if any.
Call the Elections Department at (415) 473-6456.
You requested a vote by mail ballot before the election, but do not have your vote-by-mail ballot and the return envelope to turn in at the polls.
Voting provisionally means that your ballot will be counted provided you are a registered voter in Marin County and have not already voted.
A "provisional ballot" is an official ballot that you put into a special “provisional envelope” at the polls. You must write your name and address on the envelope and sign it.
After election day. The Elections Department staff checks the information on your provisional ballot envelope against your information on the voter file. If we can determine that you are a registered voter in Marin County and have not already voted, your ballot is counted.
Yes. All of the contests and measures for which you are eligible to vote had you
gone to your correct polling place will be counted. Contests and measures for
which you are not eligible to vote will not be counted.
No, you must contact the City/Town clerk for nomination documents, manuals, and filing information.
Candidates can pick-up nomination papers during the filing period beginning 113 days and ending 88 days before the election.
Yes, but if you’re unable to come in person please see the Candidate Guide on the Election Schedule page for instructions.
Yes. Although it’s not required, appointments are a good idea especially if you’re new to the process. Call (415) 473-6437 to schedule an appointment.
Yes, you can fill out the Candidate's Application Form and send it to the Elections office. When we receive your form we will prepare your personalized documents so they’ll be ready when you come to this office.
It depends on the jurisdiction of the office you’re seeking. The Candidate Guide on the Election Schedule for the election provides this information for you.
It’s an optional way to let the voters in your district know about you. You can write a 200 word statement that is published in our sample ballot booklet. The Candidate Guide on the Election Schedule has information about the format and costs of the candidate statements.
Yes. Whether flyers, yard signs, or internet ads, make sure you’re aware of all campaign finance rules. These rules and all other campaign finance information are in the FPPC Finance Manuals on the FPPC website.
There are special finance rules and filing obligations for state and judicial candidates. This information is in FPPC Manual 1 and is published on the FPPC website.
The Election Department's website will update daily the names of candidates who have filed for a specific office.
The Marin County Independent Expenditure Ordinance (Ordinance 3519) which was approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors on June 2, 2009 requires that independent expenditures of up to $1000.00 which are made to support or oppose candidates for county elective office or county measures be reported to the Registrar of Voters within 24 hours.
The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure transparency of independent expenditures so that voters are provided information on contributors, contributions and expenditures in a timely manner.
Any individual or committee that makes independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates for Marin County elective offices or County measures.
Independent expenditure committees are required to file forms specified by the Elections Department office. A copy of the mailing or advertisement, script or recording of phone call, transmission, or advertisement is also required.
Within 24 hours after the expenditure is made.
Send the forms to the Marin County Elections Department either by:
Anyone who intentionally or negligently violates any section of this chapter shall be subject to fines of $5000 for each violation, or up to 3 times the amount of the communication, whichever is greater.