For Immediate ReleaseJune 08, 2018
June 5 Primary Election results more certain by end of next week
San Rafael, CA – Voters in Marin County are eager to receive final results from the June 5 Statewide Primary Election, and staff from the Marin County Elections Department is equally eager to deliver those totals, including 20 trained full-time and part-time staff working overtime and into the weekend.
Although an updated online tally is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, June 8, it might be another two weeks before all ballots are recorded and certified, though the elections staff will know much more by the end of next week.
Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts said Friday morning that 45,500 vote-by-mail ballots and 3,500 provisional ballots remained to be tallied. The elections staff had nearly completed the first step of processing the nearly 42,000 ballots received on Election Day, which first requires signature verification before vote-by-mail envelopes can be opened and counted.
“I know people are very anxious about the results of the close races,” Roberts said. “We are processing ballots as quickly as possible but need to be mindful of following the Elections Code and ensuring accuracy. Department staff still has a lot of work in the coming days and weeks. This is typical after every election but particularly now that more voters submit their ballots by mail than vote at their local precinct.”
Roberts said her office received about 42,000 vote-by-mail ballots on Election Day either in the mail or from voters who dropped off their vote-by-mail ballots at a precinct or at the Marin County Civic Center. About 3,500 more mailed ballots were received after Election Day. Voter turnout is estimated at 55 percent, up from 41 percent in the June 2014 gubernatorial election.
The law was changed last year to allow mailed ballots to be counted up to three days after the election as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. Another recent law change allows voters to register on Election Day at the Civic Center and submit a provisional ballot, which also requires verification before being counted. About 7,000 ballots can be scanned and tallied per day by machine once signatures are verified.
The initial process includes entering the sealed ballots into the election management computer system and verifying signatures on the envelope match the signature on the voter registration card. This is the most time-intensive step in processing vote-by-mail ballots and is required by law. That first step should be completed by Friday afternoon, June 8, Roberts said.
Starting this weekend, the elections team expects to begin removing the approximately 45,500 mailed ballots from their envelopes and preparing them to be tallied. Each ballot is reviewed for damage or mismarks. Blemishes are fixed so the electronic scanner will accept the ballots. The 3,500 provisional ballots received from the polls will be processed once the vote-by-mail ballots are finished. That process ensures that someone does not inadvertently vote twice and that ballots were cast by eligible voters.
Updated vote tallies will be placed onto our website each Friday until the election is declared completed. Given the number of ballots received on or after Election Day and at least two closely contested races, staff will plan on issuing an updated count Wednesday, June 13, before their traditionally scheduled update at 5 p.m. Friday, June 15.
“Everything is proceeding normally and as it should,” Roberts said, “although we did receive more mail ballots than expected on Election Day. Ordinarily, more of those would have already been verified and counted.”
By law, the elections team has until July 5 to certify and report final election results to the Secretary of State. The election won’t be ratified by the Marin County Board of Supervisors until its July 17 meeting. Additional information about election result reporting and processing vote-by-mail and provisional ballots can be found on the California Secretary of State’s website.
Lynda RobertsRegistrar of VotersElections Department
Marin Civic Center Administration Building3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 121San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6401Email: Lynda RobertsElections website