For Immediate ReleaseJune 13, 2018
Influx of late mailed ballots still being tallied from June 5 Primary Election
San Rafael, CA – Tight local races in the June 5 California Statewide Primary Election are beginning to come into focus as the Marin County Elections Department staff takes methodical and required steps to assure the accuracy of the count. An update to the election results is expected at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, on www.marinvotes.org.
Elections staff worked overtime over the weekend of June 9-10 to prepare ballots for counting, focusing on the close races for the Marin County Board of Supervisors seat for District 5 and the Corte Madera Town Council. Standard procedures are to prioritize counts for the close races first.
“This Wednesday update is expected to include nearly all the District 5 and Corte Madera Town Council vote-by-mail ballots,” said Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts.
Wednesday, June 13, is the legal deadline for people who didn’t sign their vote-by-mail envelope to provide their signature, so those may not be included in the new count, Roberts added.
After the June 13 update, there are another 16,000 vote-by-mail ballots remaining in all the other precincts and about 3,700 provisional ballots still to be counted. Staff plans to work Saturday, June 16, to prepare remaining vote-by-mail ballots for counting.
Verifying provisional ballots will start this week for the close races and is the most time-intensive part of an election count because signatures must be checked against voting records to ensure voters are registered and have not inadvertently voted twice. Verification must be done after vote-by-mail ballots are uploaded into the County’s elections management system to ensure an accurate review. In addition to a Wednesday or Friday update, results will be posted once provisional ballots are counted for the close races in District 5 and Corte Madera.
“We understand the frustration that some have in not knowing final results of close races,” Roberts said. “Our goal for any election is to be efficient and meticulous in tallying the votes. We are staying focused on delivering accurate results as quickly as possible consistent with all the procedures and requirements laid out in statute.”
Voting by mail boosts turnout with its convenience, but its popularity also slows down the ability for registrars to provide quick election results if many vote-by-mail ballots come in late. Roberts said she expects over 70 percent of the total votes cast in Marin County for this election to be vote-by-mail.
Recent changes in state law allow post-marked ballots to be counted three days after the election and for voters to register at the Civic Center and vote provisionally on election day. Given those changes and vote-by-mail trends the Elections Department plans to explore options to speed up the post-election tallying process for future elections.
By law, the elections team has until July 5 to certify and report final election results to the Secretary of State. The election won’t be formally ratified by the Marin County Board of Supervisors until its July 17 meeting. Additional information about election result reporting and processing vote-by-mail and provisional ballots can be found on the California Secretary of State’s website.
Lynda RobertsRegistrar of VotersElections Department
Marin Civic Center Administration Building3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 121San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6401Email: Lynda RobertsElections website