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October 19, 2011


Elections Commission Meeting

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

City Hall Room 408


Order of Business

1.  Call to Order & Roll Call- 6:01 p.m.

Present: President Richard Matthews, Vice President Winnie Yu, Commissioner Gerard Gleason, Commissioner Rosabella Safont. Excused absences: Commissioner Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Commissioner Jill Rowe, and Commissioner Arnold Townsend.

Also present: Director of Elections John Arntz and Deputy City Attorney Andrew Shen.

2.  Announcements: None

3.  Public comment on any issue within the Elections Commission’s general jurisdiction not included in any other item on this agenda: None


4.  Director’s Report


Director Arntz says the Department has received approximately 4200 Vote by Mail (VBM) ballots and some 198,988 were mailed.  There have been some 518 early voters averaging 60 voters per day with 133 the first day.   The Department has already begun scanning and checking signatures on returned VBM ballots.  VBM ballot extraction is set to begin October 28th.  The Department has begun processing of the Inmate Voting Program and working with the Hospital liaisons for individuals who are unable to vote at the polls.   The Spanish and Chinese- language voter guides have already been delivered to the Post Office.  Voting equipment testing is complete.  The polling sites have all been located and the routes for pick up have all been determined.    Department is into its third week of pollworker classes for  clerks nearly ½ of the workers have already been trained, we will continue classes through October 28, classes for inspectors is set to begin November 1 through November 5.    The training curriculum has been posted online and is available as supplemental training tool for any pollworker who wish to listen to a narrated presentation all manuals can be obtained.  All precincts have been fully staffed with one Inspector and three clerks the recruitment of standby pollworkers continues and all FEDs (53) have been recruited.  The first week of October the outreach ads appeared in many locations Muni buses, bus shelters, billboards, neighborhood papers.  Postcards will be mailed to each household explaining VBM.  Since beginning the cycle in September, five outreach coordinators have already participated in 170 outreach events, with close to 80 still scheduled before the Election.  Department continues to post reminders of upcoming elections deadlines on Facebook and Twitter notifying voters.  Information on opting out of receiving voters information pamphlet and sample ballots by mail and accessing it online instead is on our website; not available for this upcoming election, voters can submit a request for it to take effect in future elections.  A few voters have already inquired about this option.   The Fillmore Community Business District deadline has been extended to December 13th.   The issues for Voter guides the vendor printed incorrect polling place address on the back cover of approximately 133,000 voter guides.  The same address was printed on all the books showing 31 Howth Street, which is in district 11, precinct 1118.  The department feels this is the fault of the printer, we will be sending least three post cards to voters by a different vendor to inform the voter.  The post Office is slow in mailing the voter guides, claiming they are behind.  President Matthews asked if we are tied to this same vendor, Director Arntz replied no.   Commissioner Gleason asked if there would be additional staff and equipment at this precinct to accommodate any over flow, Director Arntz answered yes, no one would be turned away who wishes to vote.  Commissioner Yu inquired if there would be any signs posted outside the precinct to inform the voters Director Arntz said yes, it is possible however this is someone’s house and depending on the resident.  Commissioner Safont ask if the voter chooses to call or use the website will this information be available if they wanted their polling place information the Directors Arntz answered yes.                 


5.  Commissioners’ Reports
Commissioners will report on any meetings with public officials, or oversight and observation activities since the last meeting.  None


New Business        

6.  Discussion and possible action regarding the Mayor’s request for quarterly attendance reports from commissioners.

President Matthews says that in recent years that commission systems in general in San Francisco have come under close scrutiny regarding attendance and work of the Commissioners.  The Mayor’s office is requesting information on the mayor’s appointee.  The Commission is independent and not obligated to furnish information, however he wants the Commissioners’ opinion on whether to do so as a courtesy and in support of the goal of governmental transparency.  Commissioner Safont says it’s a good idea however she does not feel that excused absences should be omitted from attendance information, to avoid someone with 6 excused absences appearing to have a good attendance record versus someone with two unexcused absences, for example.  Commissioner Gleason thinks this information should appear on the Commission’s webpage, and that the link be provided to the Mayor’s office.  Commissioner Yu requested that this information be provided first to the Commissioners.

Motion – That the Commission’s secretary keeps track of attendance which contains information showing the attendance as present, excused absence, or unexcused absence.  This information is regularly updated regularly on the website after review by commissioners, and the link forwarded to the Mayor’s office.

Vote was taken and was unanimous to approve the Motion       

7.  Discussion and possible action regarding commissioner observation and oversight of the November 8, 2011 Consolidated General Election. 

President Matthews will be a FED in this election.  Commissioners Yu and Safont will be observers and Commissioner Gleason will work as a pollworker as is his custom.

8.  Discussion and possible action to approve the Minutes of the September 21, 2011 Commission Meeting.

Vote taken and was unanimous to approve Minutes.    

9.  Discussion regarding items for future agendas.


Commissioner Gleason announced that there will be a Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee meeting on November 2.

Adjournment: 6:40


Last updated: 11/21/2011 2:05:31 PM