Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 1

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections


August 2009


Thank you for your suggestions on improving the Election Day voting process at the polls. Here are some of your suggestions that were implemented this year:

Stand-up VOTE HERE signs for polling places point the way to the polls and make it easier for voters to find their polling places on Election Day.

Colored pencils are the easiest way to update the street index. Use a different color pencil each hour to cross off the names of voters on the street index. Then use the same color when you update the outside index for that hour. From now on, the street index will be printed on white paper to make it easier for you to tell the different colors apart more easily.


Thanks to all of you who participated in the November 4, 2008 Presidential Election which had a voter turnout of 90.80%, and the May 19, 2009 Statewide Special Election with a turnout of 42.44%. And thanks to our Novato poll workers who served in the June 2, 2009 Special School Election with turnout of 43.45%!

For the November 4, 2008 election, 775 poll workers worked at 108 polling places. For the May 19, 2009 election, 546 poll workers worked at 97 polling places. Although both elections were countywide, the law permits us to consolidate more precincts together for state and local elections. Since 70% of voters are now voting by mail, the consolidation of precincts results in a steady flow of voters at the polls and reduces the cost of the election. The number of precincts and turnout for the November 3, 2009 election will be similar to that of the May election. We try to accommodate all your requests for placement; however, the number of poll workers needed depends on the number of voting precincts. We are not able to place every applicant in his or her first choice of location, so please send in your request forms early for the November 3, 2009 Election and we will do our best to place you according to your request.

As always, thank you for your service. I look forward to working with you again in the upcoming elections!


Thank you to everyone who completed the survey about on line poll worker training on November 4, 2008. Survey responses showed strong support for online training; however, the actual number of poll workers who said they would take advantage of it was small.

Due to the high cost of installing and maintaining an online training program, the ROV decided not to offer it at this time. However, we will continue to encourage clerks to attend training classes and will send information to Clerks who cannot attend training. We will also post our new poll worker training DVD on:


Chief Inspector, John Ortega, and his team of poll workers at the Pickleweed Community Center provide language assistance in Spanish and Vietnamese to voters on Election Day. Their services include instructing voters on the voting process, and translating the ballot, the voter registration form and information in the Voter Information Pamphlet.

Mr. Ortega has been serving at the polls for 15 years as a Chief Inspector. In 1995 his wife, Maria Rodriguez, joined him as a Deputy Inspector. Several years later, Sue Sevrin, another Spanish speaking member joined them. Mr. Ortega said that there are 357 citizens with Latino surnames registered to vote in the Pickleweed precincts. He credits Man Phan, who joined in 1998, for keeping the 254 Vietnamese voters informed and educated on the issues. In 2006 Mr. Phan recruited Cuc Hang to join the team. Mr. Ortega said that he and Mr. Phan recruit local people who can speak Spanish or Vietnamese to work with them, “I believe that minority language voters participate more in elections when they know someone at the polls can communicate with them.” Besides his work at the polls, Mr. Ortega has worked tirelessly for over 40 years to register voters and encourage them to participate in the voting process.

On behalf of the voters in the San Rafael Canal community, and the Elections Office, we thank John Ortega and his team for the invaluable service they provide to the voters in their community.


The ROV assigns bilingual poll workers to polling places where voters may need language assistance. If you speak a language other than English, please let us know when you fill out the enclosed response card. We will try to assign you to the polling place that is both convenient for you and where you can best serve our voters.


The ROV surveys all polling places to make sure they meet federal and state accessibility guidelines. If necessary, we install temporary ramps, signs, and other devices before Election Day to make the polling place usable by most voters on Election Day. On the night before Election Day, movers install accessibility equipment such as ramps, cones, signs, and rubber mats at many polling places. On election morning, poll workers install smaller accessibility aids such as Braille placards to identify the voting room or door stops to keep a heavy door open for a voter in a wheelchair.

This year we provided Chief Inspectors with a blue colored Accessibility Booklet for their polling place. The booklet contains diagrams and pictures showing the correct placement of the equipment. We ask all our Inspectors with accessibility equipment at their polling places to use this booklet to make sure that the equipment and signs are placed correctly so that voters with disabilities can use these facilities.

The ROV continues to look for locations to replace polling places that do not meet the accessibility requirements. If you know of an accessible location that would work as a polling place, please call us!!


Editor: Colleen Ksanda, Precinct Coordinator
We hope that you enjoyed our newsletter. If you would like us to cover a particular topic in the next edition, please send your ideas to: Colleen Ksanda email or phone 415-473-6439.


The last election date for this year is the November 3, 2009 Consolidated UDEL Election. This is a countywide election in schools, cities and districts. In 2010 there are 3 election dates. At this time no election is scheduled for April 13, 2010. However, June 8, 2010 is the Gubernatorial Primary Election and November 2, 2010 is the Gubernatorial General Election and we will need a full complement of poll workers for both those election dates. Please mark your calendars now and plan to work at the polls if you can.