County of Marin - News Releases - March Primary Election Certified Despite Coronavirus

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

For Immediate Release
April 03, 2020

March Primary Election Certified Despite Coronavirus

Registrar of Voters says final turnout is just under 70%

Public manual tally of ballots counted during the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be conducted by Marin County’s Elections Official. [California Elections Code §15360]

San Rafael, CA – It was one month ago when polling stations opened on the same morning that the County of Marin declared a local emergency and a public health emergency because of the ominous spread of the COVID-19 virus. Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts completely understood when a number of poll workers decided to back out of their commitment to work the March 3 Presidential Primary Election.

“Everybody was just starting to get concerned,” Roberts said. “We hadn’t heard the term ‘social distancing’ yet. We got through that day and worked really hard that night. Fortunately, our team got the job done despite some trying circumstances.”

Roberts certified the local election results on April 2, and the canvass will be presented to the Marin County Board of Supervisors on April 14. She thanked the hard-working poll workers and Elections team, including the extra-hire workers, for remaining focused on recording results through the month when the novel coronavirus transformed into a worldwide pandemic.

Roberts said the final voter turnout was very near 70%. In all, Marin had 166,200 registered voters and 115,923 cast ballots in the election. The Town of Ross had the highest turnout with over 75%, and the City of Mill Valley was next with 74%.

Roberts said 73% of local voters turned in ballots by mail instead of filling out a ballot at a polling station. The percentage was 1% lower than the figure from the June 2018 Primary Election. This was the first time in 12 years that California’s presidential primary took place early in the calendar year.

Roberts certified the election following a manual double-checking process to validate the machine count’s accuracy, and posted the official final results.

This was the first major election in which the staff used a new computerized voting system that replaced 20-year old equipment. The County of Marin purchased the same tabulation system that is used in Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, and many other California counties.

Despite the election certification, there is still work to do, such as packing all ballot materials for storage. The Elections team will process hundreds of voter registration requests and changes, then immediately start preparing for the November 3 General Election.

More information is posted at Follow the Elections Office on Facebook.


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