San Rafael Goes to the Polls for Election 2012

One volunteer says many voters have cast provisional ballots throughout the day.

Many San Rafael voters forgot to mail in their ballots this year, and had to cast provisional ballots, according to one volunteer.

Janis Tavenner, who's been a volunteer at the polling station at Rotary Manor on Fifth Avenue for 14 years, said that the number of provisional and absentee ballots this year was in the hundreds. Around 6 p.m., the polling station counted 736 ballots and Tavenner estimates that they will close with over 800 ballots.

"Many people arrived and forgot to bring their mail-in ballot with them," she said.

Provisional ballots are used to prevent fraud when a voter's eligibility is in question. Some examples of when provisional ballots are used are when the voter's name is not on the precinct's electoral roll, when the voter's registration is inaccurate or contains out-dated information like a wrong address and when the voter's ballot  was already recorded.

Provisional ballots are counted after the voter's eligibility is verified, which can take up to 10 days are the election. For this reason, those votes are not counted when officials call the states to different candidates.

At Rotary Manor, the stream of voters has been steady. "There was a line out the door when I arrived this morning," Tavenner said.

Although she could not comment on any of the discussion inside the polling station, Tavenner said that the state propositions have generated the most buzz leading to up to the election, other than the presidential candidates.

"All the people I know were not up in the air about any of the propositions," she said, "especially the ones that involved raising taxes."

Propositions 30 and 38 both include tax increases that would fund education. Measure A also proposes a quarter-cent sales tax increase for nine years to preserve open space and farmland and repair park facilities in Marin County.

 Who did you pick for president? How did you vote on Measure A, Prop. 30 or 37? Tell us in the comments!



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