Selecting Vote Centers

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

Rev. 5/12/23

Open All Panels




It is the policy of the Marin County Elections Department to locate vote centers that are accessible to people with disabilities. New locations are surveyed, rated for accessibility, and mitigated with accessibility equipment and supplies when necessary.

Standard equipment and supplies used at every vote center include:

  • Accessible ballot marking devices
  • Accessible voting booth
  • Pen grips
  • Magnifiers
  • Outside call bell to request curbside assistance

Vote centers are open multiple days before Election Day and are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters are not assigned to a specific vote center and may go to any location for in-person services.



  • General Criteria

    Vote centers are selected using criteria specified in the Voter’s Choice Act (Elections Code section 4005), including:

    • Population centers
    • Parking
    • Access to public transportation
    • Ares with low vote-by-mail use
    • Language minority communities
    • Disability communities
    • Low-income communities
    • Geographic areas

    Locations are also evaluated on:

    • Size
    • Availability
    • Accessibility
    • Computer connectivity
    • Security

    A List of Vote Center Locations with days and hours of operation is on our website and is published in the Voter Information Guide mailed to all registered voters starting 40 days before an election.

    Voters are not assigned to a specific vote center and may go to any location for in-person services.

  • Accessibility Surveys

    Using the survey guidelines and checklist provided by the California Secretary of State, the Elections Department conducts on-site inspections to determine the level of accessibility of each location. A site is considered accessible if it meets all the regulations on the checklist—either with or without temporary mitigation equipment and/or supplies.

    • Mitigation equipment and supplies

      Mitigation items may vary between vote centers. Here is a list of common mitigation equipment and supplies at vote centers:

      • Ramps for door thresholds greater than 1/2 inch
      • Rubber mats for gaps in pavement in the path of travel
      • Reflective tape for a hazardous edge in the path of travel
      • Accessible route signs
      • Van accessible parking signs
      • Cones to create or widen an accessible parking aisle
      • Doorknob sleeves
      • Placards with room names in Braille
      • Lamps for inside the voting room
      • Outdoor lights
      • Call bells for voters to alert workers that assistance is needed outside
    • Survey Procedures
      1. Coordinator and assistant will use the following tools to survey an existing or potential location:
        • Smart level
        • Distance measuring device
        • Measuring tape
        • Door pressure gauge
      2. Coordinator and assistant assess the following:
        • Parking areas
        • Paths of travel to the entrance
        • Doorways, hallways, entrances
        • Voting areas
        • Signage
        • Ramps, curb-ramps and slopes
        • Elevators and lifts
        • Restrooms if they are made available
          [NOTE: At this time, restrooms are not surveyed since they are not made available. A notice is included on the tri-fold information board at each vote center.]
      3. Coordinator and assistant complete the checklist and take photographs to document the site.
      4. Coordinator will designate a location as either “accessible” or “inaccessible”.
      5. The Elections Department maintains a file of completed surveys and photographs, which will be available for public inspection.
      6. Upon learning new information about a location, which may be provided by the movers or vote center workers, the Coordinator will make a site visit and re-survey the location if necessary.
    • Mitigation of Locations
      1. After completing the on-site survey, Coordinator will determine if the site requires temporary modifications to improve accessibility.
      2. Coordinator will implement the required modifications by:
        • Placing an order for the needed supplies.
        • Updating all instructions.
  • Installation of Mitigation Equipment and/or Supplies


    Working from the list and set-up instructions, the moving company will install the mitigation equipment the evening before Election Day.

    Vote Center Workers

    Vote centers workers will set up the small mitigation supplies, such as the Braille room name placards and doorstops, and will also use the instructions to verify accurate set up of the entire site.

    Staff Training

    As needed, department staff members will attend training provided by the State Department of Rehabilitation’s accessibility training program to learn how to survey sites for accessibility.