County of Marin - News Releases - Secure Drop Boxes

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2020

Registrar Reminds Voters to Use Official Drop Boxes to Cast Ballots

Instances of unofficial collection receptacles reported across state

San Rafael, CA – Registrars of Voters at county governments throughout California are alerting voters about fraudulent ballot collection receptacles being placed by unauthorized individuals around California.

A view of the Election Department's ballot box outside the south archway of the Marin County Civic Center.This is the secure drop box located in the South Archway outside the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael. There is another one in the North Archway.
On Sunday, the office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a memo telling registrars the unofficial boxes were illegal and ballots must be mailed or brought to official voting locations. “In short, providing unauthorized, non-official vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes is prohibited by state law,” Padilla wrote. “Never hand your ballot over to someone you don’t trust. Official county drop boxes are built with specific security protections, and ballots are retrieved only by designated county personnel.” 

In Marin County, Registrar Lynda Roberts said October 12 that no such incidents had been identified in Marin County. “If a registered voter wants to place a signed mail-in ballot into a drop box, they need to make sure it’s a box installed by our Elections Department staff,” Roberts said. “If a voter is unable to return their own ballot, we recommend they designate someone they know and trust by completing the form at the top of the ballot return envelope.”

Voting is taking place at the Elections Department inside Suite 121 of the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. A drop box is in the hallway just outside the office door. In addition, there are two secure outdoor drop boxes at the Civic Center archways at which drivers can conveniently deposit the envelope:

  • Vera Schultz Drive (North Archway)
  • Peter Behr Drive (South Archway)

Other official drop boxes can be found at the following locations around Marin County (additional sites may be added to the list, which can be confirmed online):

  • Albert J. Boro Community Center, 50 Canal St, San Rafael
  • Bolinas Community Center, 14 Wharf Road, Bolinas
  • Corte Madera Recreation Center, 498 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera
  • Fairfax Town Hall, 142 Bolinas Road, Fairfax
  • Marin City Library, 164 Donahue Street, Sausalito
  • Marin Health and Wellness Campus, 3240 Kerner Boulevard, San Rafael
  • Mill Valley City Hall, 26 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley
  • Novato Library, 1720 Novato Boulevard, Novato
  • San Anselmo Town Hall, 525 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo
  • West Marin Health and Human Services Center, 1 Sixth Street, Point Reyes
  • Whistlestop (now known as Vivalon), 930 Tamalpais Avenue, San Rafael

Elections Department hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or until 8 p.m. on Election Day. The department will be open the weekend before the election — October 31 and November 1 – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist voters with registration and voting.

In addition to dropping off ballots atone of the drop boxes listed above or using the U.S. mail, voters may use a ballot drop box at one of 29 polling stations that will be open October 31 through November 3. The list of polling stations and hours of operation are found on

Voters were assigned to a specific location for in-person voting and should refer to their Voter Information Guide/Sample Ballot for more information.

California laws allow Roberts’ staff to process returned ballots before Election Day, which helps produce final results faster after Election Day. Signature verification on vote-by-mail ballot envelopes takes time to ensure security and accuracy, so waiting until Election Day to drop off a ballot at a polling place delays certification of the election. Rest assured, however, that every eligible and timely vote will be counted. 


Lynda Roberts
Registrar of Voters
Elections Department

Marin Civic Center Administration Building
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 121
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6401
Email: Lynda Roberts
Elections website