Newsletter - Volume 12, Issue 1

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections


The Marin County Elections Department Newsletter for Poll Workers

August 2018


By Colleen Ksanda / Precinct Coordinator

The June 5th Statewide Direct Primary Election was another successful election facilitated by poll workers! We faced several challenges; the most prominent of which was a shortage of election day volunteers. As is often the case with June primaries, many of our long-time poll workers were unavailable because of school graduations, summer vacations, and other commitments. With so many of our returning poll workers unable to serve, we made extra efforts recruiting through news releases, notices to voters, and social media postings.

Every precinct was fully staffed right up to the week before Election Day, but during that week—concurrent with day and evening training poll worker classes in session—a total of 69 poll workers cancelled. We scrambled to find replacements, but unfortunately, we couldn’t find enough citizens to fill so many last-minute cancellations.

Although the polls were short staffed (by approximately 40 poll workers), we would like to recognize the 169 volunteers who signed up for their first time: 119 Clerks (including 30 high school students), 49 Deputies, and 1 Chief. Thank you for your civic engagement!

Another obstacle in this election was the relocation of two Novato polling places the day before Election Day because access couldn’t be secured to the planned sites. By early Monday evening we had no choice but to move both locations so voters would have a polling place by 7 a.m. on Election Day.

We worked with the Chief Inspectors of both sites to relocate their teams to a neighboring polling place and posted signs at the closed facilities to redirect the voters. The change was also posted on the Elections Department home page, and messages were put out on social media (Nextdoor, Twitter, and the County’s Facebook page). Throughout Election Day we had field crew check on the locations to make sure the signs remain posted.

There were other glitches too, such as malfunctioning voting machines at several locations. But despite these challenges, the poll workers were successful in overcoming them. The voters who came to the polls on June 5th were well served thanks to a great team of poll workers! Our office would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge you for your hard work, and to say: JOB WELL DONE! Thank you very much for your service at the polls. We appreciate all of you!!!

The turnout in June’s election was 55.92%. We expect November’s election to be even busier with a higher voter turnout. I’m counting on all of you to reserve November 6th to work at the polls if you can, and to help spread the word to your friends and neighbors that we will need poll workers! People interested in serving at the polls can respond by mail, call or email me, or apply online at

I’m looking forward to working with you on November 6th. Until then, have a fantastic summer!

ELECTIONS IN 2018/2019

Local jurisdictions may call an election for an established election date no later than 88 days before Election Day. We mail poll worker recruitment letters 3 to 4 months prior to each scheduled election.

  • November 6, 2018 Statewide General Election
  • March 5, 2019 Special Election (No election is scheduled at this time)
  • June 4, 2019 Special Election (No election is scheduled at this time)
  • November 5, 2019 Local election for cities and special districts


Registered voters: 155,517
Total turnout: 86,971 (55.92%)
Polls turnout: 23,044 (26.5%)
VBM turnout: 63,927 (73.5%)
VBM ballots rejected: 1,151 (1.8%)
Number of poll workers: 578
Number of precincts: 137
Number of polling places: 89
Provisional ballots received: 3,750
Provisional ballots counted: 3,428 (91.4%)
Provisional ballots rejected: 322 (8.6%)
Reasons VBM Ballots Rejected
No signature: 131
Signature no match: 408
Signed by other: 95
Arrived too late 514
Other reasons: 3
Reasons Provisional Ballots Rejected
Registration issue: 276
Signature issue: 11
Signed by other: 25
Blank envelope: 10


The Marin County Elections Office begins processing and counting returned vote-by-mail ballots 10 days before the election takes place.

At 8 p.m. on Election Day, our office releases a report containing the results from the vote-by-mail ballots that were counted up to Election Day. Simultaneously, sheriff’s deputies and “citizen riders” begin arriving at the 5 receiving centers throughout Marin to collect the voting equipment and ballots for delivery to the Elections Office. Results from the receiving centers start coming in around 9 p.m. The tabulations are released to the public throughout the evening.

The next votes to be counted are the uncounted mail-in and provisional ballots from the polls. Checking these votes is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Mail-in ballots require verification of the signature, and provisional ballots must be examined more closely to verify the voter’s registration and that the voter hasn’t already voted in the election.

The Registrar of Voters has up to 28 days in a local election, and 30 days in a statewide election to finalize the count.

Election Day Reminder:

In June’s election, several voters complained of poll workers “chatting” at their polling place, making it difficult for them to concentrate.

Poll workers should refrain from conversations when voters are in the voting room to avoid distracting them while they are voting.

Remember, you are important to the voters you serve and have a direct effect on their voting experience.


If you have any suggestions or ideas of what should be covered in our next newsletter, submit them to Colleen Ksanda or call (415) 473-6439.

Follow the Elections Department on Facebook for updates and more.