04/30/2013 by Caroline Bruister
Marin County honored for highest voter turnout in 2012
Although Marin County resident Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was unable to present the Marin County Board of Supervisors with a written commendation for the County’s top- ranked voter turnout in the November 2012 general election due to pressing state business, the stars who made this achievement possible were in the room today in San Rafael.
Marin County Registrar Elaine Ginnold stepped into the Lt. Gov.’s shoes and presented the state commendation to the Supervisors, saying that the there is plenty of credit to pass around for the high voter turnout.
Marin was No. 1 in the state with a voter turnout of 87.37 percent last November. The last time Marin led the state in election participation was 1952. Ginnold brought both commendations to the meeting and noted that this year’s was smaller than the one bestowed on the county by then Governor Earl Warren.
The percentage of turnout of vote by mail voters has increased from 49 percent in 2004 to 65 percent in 2012 while the percentage of turnout for voters at the polls has decreased from 51 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2012. (See full report.)
“This certificate is a recognition not only of our Board of Supervisors who make civic engagement a priority, but also to the voters of Marin County for their enthusiastic participation in the electoral process, to the poll workers who staff the polls on Election Day, to the voter outreach efforts of many community organizations, and to the employees of the Elections Department who strive to make sure that every vote counts,” Ginnold said.
Many of those groups were in attendance and spoke regarding their efforts including the League of Women Voters of Marin County, a local union and the Marin Democratic Party.
Dixie Schoolboard Member Andy Hyman noted locally that education issues, including Proposition 30, was a motivator for many voters.
California Forward spoke in acknowledgement of the collective effort of the Registrar, staff and community whose efforts are stood out in our state. California Forward is working with registrars all over the state and organizations including the California Voter Foundation under the umbrella of the Future of California Elections (FOCE) to make sure that all California voters have their voices heard.
“It is great that our residents are being recognized for having the best voter turnout in the state,” said Judy Arnold, President of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. “In all our communities, we are blessed with active, well- informed voters who are educated and eager to make their opinions known.”
Marin’s highest voter turnout was 90.8 percent for the November 2008 election.