County of Marin - News Releases - Mailing Confuses Voters

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2016

Statewide Erroneous Mailing Confuses Voters

Nonprofit used bad data; Marin registrar says no major issue locally

San Rafael, CA – The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) is responding to concerns from voters across the state who received solicitation mailings erroneously indicating that residents of households are not registered to vote. More than 4.6 million letters were mailed statewide, with close to 18,000 sent to residents in Marin County.

“We have had some calls, but it hasn’t been overwhelming,” said Marin County Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts. “Nonetheless we’d like to let our residents know that such mailings might be delivered and could cause some confusion.”

The letters are from the Voter Participation Center, a nonprofit whose published mission is to “register and mobilize the rising American electorate.” Some of the mailings are addressed to current registered voters at an address and others are addressed to nonexistent residents or to variations of names associated with the residence.

CACEO President Dean Logan said the Voter Participation Center has caused unnecessary concern and confusion for voters “whether by accident or otherwise” by sending out the mailings without comparing data with the existing voter file.

The Voter Participation Center indicated to the Secretary of State that more than 4.6 million of the letters were mailed statewide. While some of the letters may have been sent to citizens who were eligible to vote but not registered, the surge in calls to county registrars has indicated clear discrepancies in the data causing confusion and concern for Californians just weeks before the Presidential Election.

Roberts urged Marin voters to verify their registration status prior to Election Day on the Voter Dashboard on our website,

Registrars begin mailing sample ballots in early October. Any voter receiving a sample ballot can be assured that they are listed as active on the voter file. Only voters who have a change in address or name need re-register prior to the October 24 voter registration deadline.

Learn more about CACEO online. Follow the Elections Department 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