For Immediate ReleaseOctober 10, 2016
Voter pamphlet and audio CDs also available online
San Rafael, CA – Marin County voters are starting to receive the information pamphlet for the November 8 election in the mail. In addition to the printed pamphlet, voters who like to get information electronically can access a mobile-friendly voter guide using the Voter Dashboard.
How handy is the online guide? Users can mark their ballot selections in the app to create a “cheat sheet” for use when voting their official ballot. The selections are for reference only and do not equate to voting.
The online guide also provides links to other resources, including the state propositions, state and federal candidate statements, and websites for local candidates. Access to the voter guide is available in the Voter Dashboard on the home page of the Elections Department’s website.
“The online guide is a great supplement to the printed pamphlet because it provides a comprehensive way to study candidates and measures,” said Lynda Roberts, Marin County’s Registrar of Voters.
In addition to the voter guide, the Voter Dashboard offers other self-service options and can answer common questions such as, “Am I registered to vote?” “Where is my polling place?” or “Did you get my ballot?” Along with the voter guide, an electronic version of the information pamphlet is available on the Voter Dashboard, so voters have the ability to opt out of receiving a printed copy.
Roberts said those who opt out will be emailed about a month before each election to say that an electronic pamphlet is available on the Voter Dashboard. Reducing the number of printed pamphlets reduces overall election costs, which are about $1 million countywide for a general election. All jurisdictions in Marin with races on the ballot pay a prorated share of the cost.
The Elections Department will continue to mail printed voter pamphlets for future elections to those who do not opt out. Voters who opt out can also change their mind and decide to opt in. The Voter Dashboard implements responsive web design principles to provide an optimal experience on desktop computers as well as phones and tablets.
“Upon logging in, voters are immediately presented with pertinent, helpful information such as their registration status and their polling location,” said Wesley Hill, a Principal Systems Analyst who leads the web team with the County’s Information Services and Technology Department. “Voters can even get directions to their polling place from the Dashboard.”
The Elections Department also offers an audio version of the local measures — both in CD format and online. “Reading printed information may be difficult for some voters, so we gladly provide CDs for those who prefer to listen,” Roberts said. “We want all voters to have access to resources they need so they can make an informed decision when voting.”
As part of its outreach efforts, the Elections Department sends copies of the recordings to more than 35 organizations, including libraries, senior care facilities, and organizations that assist people with disabilities. An audio version of the state’s voter information guide is also available. Both are free of charge and available from the department.
The recordings of the local measures are on the department’s website under the Voter Accessibility link.
Regardless of how a voter receives information about the November 8 election, Roberts urges them to use the resources to prepare to vote.
Lynda RobertsRegistrar of VotersElections Department
Marin Civic Center Administration Building3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 121San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6401Email: Lynda RobertsElections website