Newsletter - Volume 9, Issue 1

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections


August 2015


By Colleen Ksanda / Precinct Coordinator
This upcoming November election is known as a UDEL election, which stands for Uniform District Election. Forty-three local jurisdictions will be in the election, including school districts, special districts, cities and towns.

Marin County has a UDEL election in November of every odd numbered year. UDEL elections are not as busy as statewide elections; nonetheless, we still need all of you there!

I hope we can count on you to sign up and serve this November 3rd. As you know, we can’t run an election without you, and we appreciate each one of you for your dedication, commitment, and hard work to make that happen!

Marin County is fortunate to have so many community members who are willing to participate in the elections process. Thank you for your continued support and service.


Up until this year, California election law allowed elections officials to count only the Vote-by-Mail (VBM) ballots that were received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. A change in the law now allows a VBM envelope to be postmarked no later than the election date and received by the Elections Office within 3 days.

We don’t know what effect this will have at the polls, but it may lessen the number of ballots dropped off at polling places on Election Day.


In 2002 California law changed to allow all voters the option to vote by mail in every election without needing an excuse. Previously, voting by mail was only for the ill, people with disabilities, and those who lived too far from the polls, or those with other special circumstances.

In the 13 years since the enactment of the permanent vote-by-mail law, voting by mail has become more and more popular here in Marin.

This table shows the changes of Marin’s VBM voters in statewide primary and general elections, beginning with the 2004 Presidential Election.

Election % of VBM Voters
Nov 2004 48.70%
June 2006 56.78%
Nov 200 657.75%
Feb 2008 56.19%
June 2008 69.07%
Nov 2008 58.70%
June 2010 65.32%
Nov 2010 60.36%
June 2012 71.46%
Nov 2012 65.05%
June 2014 77.45%
Nov 2014 71.01%


Marin County Registrar of Voters Report
Registered voters: 148,976
Total turnout: 89,536 (60.10%)
Polls turnout: 25,960 (17.42%)
VBM turnout: 63,576 (42.68%)
VBM ballots rejected: 708 (1.1%)
Number of poll workers: 586
Number of precincts: 139
Number of polling places: 96
Provisional ballots received: 3,458
Provisional ballots counted: 3,172 (91.7%)
Provisional ballots rejected: 286 (8.3%)
Reasons VBM Ballots Rejected
No signature: 98
Signature no match: 559
Diff voter used envelope: 51
Reasons Provisional Ballots Rejected
Registration issue: 265
Signature issue: 11
Already voted: 10

Statewide Voter Turnout 60% or Higher

County # Registered Voters % Turnout of Registered Voters
Sierra 2,229 72.99%
Nevada 61,690 64.24%
Mariposa 10,501 63.77%
Amador 20,798 62.91%
Alpine 764 61.26%
Plumas 11,831 61.22%
Marin 148,976 60.10%

Voter Participation Bay Area Counties

County Turnout % of Registered Voters % VBM
Marin 60.10% 71.01%
Sonoma 59.98% 76.22%
Napa 54.99% 93.82%
San Francisco 53.29% 58.91%
Santa Cruz 52.03% 59.08%
Santa Clara 50.18% 76.23%
Contra Costa 49.10% 63.94%
Sacramento 48.39% 66.26%
San Mateo 46.25% 67.13%
Solano 45.63% 71.18%
Alameda 45.04% 62.08%


What is a consolidated precinct?
Before an election, our office combines neighboring precincts together in order to create larger “consolidated precincts.” A consolidated precinct is made up of precincts that vote on the same issues. In other words, the precincts must have the same ballot style. By law, we are allowed to consolidate up to 6 precincts.

In busy elections (high voter turnout) we consolidate fewer precincts to keep the precinct size manageable for poll workers and to avoid long lines at the polls. In slower elections (low voter turnout) we consolidate more precincts to create more active polling places.

Why are there so many poll sites when so many voters vote by mail?
Elections Code requires that we provide a polling place within every precinct or consolidated precinct boundary.

Why are there so many extra ballots printed for the polls?
Election Code requires that we provide ballots for 75% of all registered voters in the County for use at the polls. This number includes the permanent vote-by-mail voters and the number of polling place voters.

When are the VBM and provisional ballots counted?
The first ballots to be counted are the Vote-by-Mail (VBM) ballots that the Elections Office receives before Election Day. These ballots are the first election results posted at 8 p.m. on election night. Throughout election evening, the election results are updated as the results come in from the polls. The VBM ballots collected at the polls are counted in the following days after the election. The last ballots counted are the provisional ballots.


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 3, 2015 Uniform District Election
  • April 12, 2016 Special Election (No election is scheduled at this time)
  • June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election
  • November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election