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February 16, 2011

Minutes Approved

Elections Commission Meeting

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

6:00 p.m.

City Hall Room 408



Order of Business


 1.         Call to Order:  6:03 & Roll Call




Present: President Richard Matthews, Vice President Winnie Yu, Commissioner Arnold Townsend, Commissioner Gerard Gleason, Commissioner Rosabella Safont.

Also Present: Director John Arntz, Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee.



2.      Public comment on any issue within the Elections Commission’s general jurisdiction.




Public Speaker John Schenone says he is disappointed that his memo he read at the previous meeting had not been published.   He said that the Elections Commission is not doing its job to service the public as he feels it should.  Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee explained that written materials of a 150 words or less that have been provided can be published however written material that exceed 150 words it is up to the discretion of the commission to summarize; however, a copy is kept in the public binder at the Department of Elections Room 48.

3.         Announcements



  1. President Matthews announced that he has appointed Commissioner Gleason as Chair of the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee (BOPEC) and Commissioner Rosabella Safont continues to serve.  President Matthews will continue to serve on BOPEC, but would like to leave, and asked that if one of the other commissioners would like to serve as a member of BOPEC please let him know. 
  2. President Matthews asked that commissioners who wish to put forth a motion would please send it to him one week in advance for inclusion in the agenda; second best would be to bring it in written form to the meeting and will be edited and given to the secretary. Either way it is important that we get the motions into the minutes verbatim, and these are the most efficient ways of doing that.
  3. President Matthews clarified the policy regarding correspondence among commissioners: commissioners who wish to send correspondence to the full commission should send it to the secretary and she will forward it to all commissioners and place a copy in the public binder.

4.         Approval of Minutes



Discussion and possible action to approve the Minutes of the January 19, 2011 Elections Commission Meeting.


Vote was unanimous to approve Minutes of January 19, 2011 Elections Commission



 5.    Director’s Report

      Updates on activities of the Divisions:

Administrative Division: It is gathering information for the Controllers; this information has a deadline of next Tuesday.  There have been no changes to the budget since the last Budget and Oversight (BOPEC) meeting.  An email was sent to all the commissioners including information of what should be put on reserve if there is a consolidation of the June Election.


Campaign Services: New interns are being brought in from Youth Works the service that the Department uses to find high school students who work at polling places.  The guidelines are currently being reviewed that clarifies what their services can include. 


Technology Division: A database has been centralized for supplies and equipment held at the warehouse.  We are now able to electronically track and have a more efficient means of keeping records of the inventory.


Voter Services: Time tracking has been completed that allows us to have information that allows the Department to know how much manpower and time will be needed to perform a job.


Outreach: Has extended the list of organizations with which it will work, and added long-term care facilities. Approximately 92 new targets have been added.


Poll Worker Division: Sent out surveys to 2,400 pollworkers to find out how they felt about the job Department of Elections (DOE) is currently doing and to get suggestions on how better the DOE can serve them, as well as a survey of their willingness to work both Tuesday and Saturday in the November 2011 election; approximately 92% replied yes to working on either or both.   A survey of those who have made their homes or businesses available as polling places regarding their willingness to allow access both Tuesday and Saturday revealed that 20% would agree.


Publications recently met with the vendors to see what efficiencies involving Spanish and Chinese publications they can implement.


Saturday Voting: The Department is awaiting the decision from the Secretary of State (SOS) regarding the use of the Edge machine on the Saturday prior to the Tuesday election day. Any use of the Edge machine prior to Tuesday must be in the presence of employees of the Department of Elections, and pollworkers do not meet that definition. 


The Department is getting closer to having a solution of using the Roster at polling places, possibly a version that would have peel-off labels to be placed on the roster to show that the voter voted on Saturday, which would be scanned and updated on Sunday, with that information forwarded to the precincts in advance of Tuesday to prevent double-voting. Increasingly, it appears that Saturday voting would be Vote by Mail (VBM) at the polling places, with the use of the Insight machines for disabled access. Ballots submitted on Saturday would not be counted until after the election day. 


Redistricting: The department has received several calls regarding the deadlines, which are not discernible yet due to the census information not yet being released. It is expected in mid to late March, following which the Director has 60 days to report to the Board that redistricting has been triggered by a greater-than-one-percent shift in precinct population, following which the Board has 60 days to create the Task Force. This could make the creation of the task force in approximately July.  The Director said that he has received some questions from staffers of the Supervisors about resources available from the Department; the Director has told them that the Department does not have the space or the personnel to support the Task Force.  He continues to let the Board know they need to have a budget that is a stand alone, not expecting anything to come from the Departments budget.   


Special Election in June: It appears that the media are quite sure in their reporting that we will have a Special Election, but there has been no formal announcement from the State.




                   Updates ob the budget for FY 2011-2012  


Vote was unanimous to approve Budget for fiscal year 2011-2012


 6.     Commissioners’ Reports

Commissioner Townsend said that despite the fact that he left the January meeting early and was not present for the nominations or elections of officers, that he nevertheless had an opinion of concern that the position of commission president has been held for five years by the same three white men. [This is incorrect, as Jennifer Meek was president within that time frame, and President Matthews was not.]  President Matthews said that members who are women and/or minorities have been asked to serve, but have not agreed to be nominated.


7.     Old Business


(a)    Discussion and possible action to approve the minutes of the December 15, 2010 Elections Commission Meeting.



Vote was unanimous to approve Minutes of December 15, 2010 Elections Commission.


8.     New Business


(a) Discussion and possible action to approve the proposed budget for FY 2011-12. Possible report from the Budget and Oversight and Public Elections Committee on this item.


Commissioner Gleason reported that BOPEC considered the draft budget as submitted, and voted to move it forward to the full Commission with a recommendation to adopt it.


Vote was unanimous to approve the Budget for fiscal year 2011-2012.


(b)  Discussion and possible action to adopt policy related to possible Saturday voting, its budget estimate, its logistics, its legal requirements and constraints, its fundraising, or other considerations related to implementation of the measure. Possible speaker from the Office of the Controller.


President Matthews referred to Commissioner Gleason’s document submitted at the BOPEC meeting and copies were attached to the agenda which lists questions that need clarification.  He spoke with Alex Tourk, who is a proponent of the Saturday voting ballot measure that passed last November; Mr. Tourk was unable to attend this meeting and intends to attend the March meeting.

Commissioner Gleason said we still have questions that need to be clarified, only a few of which are:

 1.  What is the proposed Budget that is to be paid for by private funds?

 2.  What is the deadline by which we need to know from the Controller whether there are enough funds, and how will that deadline be determined?

 3.  Will the Vote by Mail (VBM) ballots used on Saturday be different or a replica of the other VBM ballots?

 4.  What constitutes a valid survey, and who will decide and design that survey?


Deputy City Attorney Lee said that the ordinance refers to Polling Place as a Satellite and that any Polling Place that is open on Tuesday must be open on Saturday.


President Matthews said that this will be an ongoing item for discussion and possible action by the commission and that the document generated by Commissioner Gleason will be referred to and amended as guidance for the Commission’s discussions of possible policy.


(c) Discussion and possible action to adopt criteria for the selection of the Elections Commission’s three appointees to the Redistricting Task Force. In 2002, the published criteria were: (1) Represent San Francisco’s diverse population; (2) Have not been paid by a campaign in the past two elections; (3) Have knowledge of San Francisco’s neighborhoods, geography, and demographics; (4) Be registered to vote in San Francisco (required); (5) Do not reside in the same supervisorial districts as each other; (6) Have flexible schedule for attending meetings; (7) Do not have conflict of interest.

President Matthews explained that if the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force might start its work in July, then the Commission must make its three appointments before then, and thus we have some time to consider our criteria, but also need time to open up the application period, decide our process for considering applicants, and make formal appointments not later than June.


President Matthews said he included in the agenda the criteria used in 2002 as a starter for discussion. He expressed that he would like to revise these, including requiring that applicants not have been involved in campaigns for longer than two years; Commissioners Townsend and Yu agreed. Commissioner Townsend said that we should not require that applicants be policy wonks.

Vice President Yu referred to the website for some definitions of criteria for the state’s redistricting commission.

Commissioner Townsend said that he would be more comfortable considering this matter at a future meeting, as he had not read the 2002 criteria before this week.

President Matthews said that this item will be on the March agenda for further consideration.


9.  Discussion regarding items for future agendas


President Matthews repeated that the issues of Saturday voting and the redistricting task force will be on the next agenda



10. The meeting adjourned at 7:01 p.m.


Materials contained in the Commission packets for meetings are available for inspection and copying during regular office hours at the Department of Elections, City Hall Room 48.  Materials are placed in the Elections Commission's Public Binder no later than 72 hours prior to meetings.  Any materials distributed to members of the Elections Commission within 72 of the meeting or after the agenda packet has been delivered to the members are available for inspection at the Department of Elections, City Hall Room 48, in the Commission's Public Binder, during normal office hours.













Last updated: 2/3/2014 11:01:13 AM