Newsletter - Volume 8, Issue 1

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections


August 2014


By Colleen Ksanda / Precinct Coordinator
Since our last newsletter, the Elections Department staff and our volunteer poll workers have successfully conducted 2 countywide elections.

As you may have experienced, we had a very low voter turnout for both elections in Marin County. In the November 5, 2013 Uniform District Election, voter turnout was 37.76%, and in the June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election, the turnout was 40.87%.

Turnout in the November 2013 election was expected to be low because there were no countywide contests, or state and federal offices on the ballot. Rather, it was composed of a number of separate, smaller jurisdictions. But the turnout from June’s election was much lower than projected. In fact, it was a record low turnout for a primary election, but higher than the statewide turnout of only 25.2%.

Not only was voter participation low in the June primary election, but so too was poll worker interest. Recruiting was a challenge. Although we placed over 100 new poll workers, we were not able to fully staff each precinct because our need for poll workers was greater than the response from citizens willing to serve.

To those of you who served in one or both of these elections, THANK YOU! I hope to see you again in the upcoming November 4, 2014 Statewide General Election. We expect this election to be busier with a higher turnout. Until then, best wishes for an enjoyable summer!


The Elections Office is happy to announce Lynda Roberts as Marin County’s new Registrar of Voters. Lynda’s first day in the office was July 7th. Lynda is the former Registrar of Voters, Clerk, Recorder and Clerk to the Board of Supervisors of Mono County.

Lynda’s hiring comes on the retirement of Elaine Ginnold, whose last day with the department was July 25th. Elaine served as our Registrar since 2006, and worked in elections for 25 years. Prior to coming to Marin, Elaine was Alameda County’s Assistant Registrar of Voters and Acting Registrar of Voters in her last year there. She also served as an international elections observer in Albania, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Elaine has been such a steward of keeping our elections transparent. It was a privilege to have a Registrar with her expertise, enthusiasm, can-do, make-it-happen attitude, and leadership style. These last 8 years were very productive times for our office. Bon Voyage Elaine! And thank you for your time, service and dedication.

Although Elaine will be greatly missed, we feel very fortunate to have someone with Lynda’s background, skills and abilities to follow in her footsteps. “It will take time fill Elaine’s shoes, but I am looking forward to the challenge,” Lynda said. Welcome to our office, Lynda! You will be a wonderful asset to Marin County Elections.


Good news! Our budget for the next fiscal year, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors, included a $25.00 increase in the poll workers’ stipends!

Marin County poll workers last received a raise in November 2005. With the raises, Chiefs will receive $175.00 (plus $25.00 for each additional voting precinct), Deputies will receive $150.00, and Clerks will receive $125.00 per election.

Poll workers also receive $15.00 to $30.00 for a 1½ or a 3 hour training course, depending on which poll worker position they serve in on Election Day, and which training class they attend.


Many of our long time poll workers from West Marin either retired or were unavailable to serve in June’s election. This is one of the hardest areas in which to recruit new poll workers because of its large geography and small population.

To help with the recruitment process, we sent out news releases and mailed postcards to every household where we needed poll workers. We also offered a poll worker training class at the Point Reyes Dance Palace as an alternative to our training class location in San Rafael. Our efforts were successful, and we were able to staff all our West Marin polling places.

Our new poll workers and many of our long time poll workers said they preferred the convenience of having a training class closer to home. As a result, we will be bringing training to the Dance Palace again for this November’s election. We will also offer more than one class to accommodate all of our poll workers serving in the 9 poll sites across West Marin.


November 5, 2013 Uniform District Election
Number of registered voters 151,407
Total turnout 57,172 (37.76%)
Number of voters voting at the polls 12,640 (22%)
Number of vote by mail voters 44,532 (78%)
Number of poll workers 543
Number of precincts 128
Number of polling places 97
Number of provisional ballots received 1198
Number of provisional ballots counted 1147 (95.74%)
Number of provisional ballots rejected 51 (4.25%)
June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election
Number of registered voters 148,777
Total turnout 60,800 (40.87%)
Number of voters voting at the polls 13,711 (22.55%)
Number of vote by mail voters 47,089 (77.45%)
Number of poll workers 559
Number of precincts 138
Number of polling places 96
Number of provisional ballots received 1242
Number of provisional ballots counted 1184 (95%)
Number of provisional ballots rejected 58 (5%)


70% of Marin’s voters are signed up to vote by mail. As you know, some of these voters come to vote at the polls on Election Day but don’t have their Vote by Mail ballot and VBM envelope to turn in. If they are without it, the law requires them to vote a provisional ballot. Most of the provisional ballots are from vote by mail voters who wanted to vote at the polls but didn’t have their VBM ballot to turn in.

Please make sure all provisional voters sign on the pink pages, not on the white pages in the Roster, or it will look like they have voted twice and their provisional ballot won’t count.


If you have a story you want included in the next newsletter, please contact our Editor, email or phone 415-473-6439 Colleen Ksanda.


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 date.

  • November 4, 2014 Statewide General Election
  • March 3, 2015 Special Election (No election is scheduled at this time)
  • June 2, 2015 Special Election (No election is scheduled at this time)
  • November 3, 2015 Uniform District Election