Many changes in store for Election Day

09/16/2020

The good news about November’s general election is that voting in person at a polling station will be available on four days, from Saturday, Oct. 31, through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The bad news is that only three polling stations will be open in all of West Marin.

Covid-19 is impacting this year’s election in many ways, including reducing the number of polling stations in the county from 89 to just 29. The three West Marin polling places will be at the Bolinas Community Center, the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and the West Marin Health & Human Services Center on Sixth Street in Point Reyes Station. These centers will be open for voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. 

A major change this year is that Governor Gavin Newsom has directed that a vote-by-mail ballot be sent to every registered voter. Lynda Roberts, Marin’s registrar of voters, recommends using the mail-in ballots rather than going to the polls. She also urges that completed ballots be mailed back well before Election Day. To be counted, vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by the county by Friday, Nov. 20.

Ballot drop-off boxes will also be available around the clock through Election Day at 12 locations in the county, including at the Bolinas Community Center and the Health & Human Services Center in Point Reyes Station.

Voter pamphlets will be mailed on Sept. 24, and the vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out on Oct. 5.

The only local race on West Marin ballots will be in the Muir Beach Community Services District, where three candidates are vying for two board seats.

Voters in the Shoreline Unified School District will weigh in on Measure L to renew a $212-per-year parcel tax for another eight years, while the electorate in Muir Beach, Stinson Beach and Bolinas will consider Measure M, a nine-year renewal of a $469-per-year parcel tax for the Tamalpais Union High School District. I will examine the entire ballot, with recommendations, next month in the Light.