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June 20, 2012

City and County of San Francisco
Elections Commission Meeting
June 20, 2012


President Gerard Gleason called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm. PRESENT. Commissioners Rosabella Safont, Richard P. Matthews, Gerard Gleason, Arnold Townsend, Winnie Yu, Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Jill Rowe, Commission Secretary Tachina Alexander, Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee, and Director of Elections John Arntz.

President Gleason announced the appointment of Tachina Alexander as the new Elections Commission Secretary. Ms. Alexander thanked the Commission and expressed delight in coming aboard.

Richard Hanlin stated that 3-4 weeks before election that City Hall becomes a polling place. He expressed concern that citizens should not be subject to taking off their belts at the request of the police officers in a polling place. A man who entered City Hall in front of him was requested to do so and his pants fell down. Mr. Hanlin felt the polling place was demeaned the act itself was undignified.

4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING Commissioner Matthews moved to approve the minutes of the May 16, 2012 Election Commission Meeting. Seconded by Commissioner Rowe. No public comment. The Roll Call Vote was UNANIMOUS to approve the minutes.

Director Arntz presented the following update on June 5, 2012 Consolidated
Primary Election
(a) The Director certified the election today. He pulled names to resolve a tie for the Peace and Freedom Central Committee’s last seat. The DOE recorded this, uploaded the video on YouTube, and published it on the DOE’s website. Director Arntz released Sherriff’s Deputies from the warehouse at Pier 48 today and ballots are being archived.

(b) The election started strong but fell flat. There was 30.83% total turnout; with 10% at polling places and 20% vote by mail. All polling places opened on-time except two. All inspectors showed up. The Secretary of State’s office had observers in point places throughout San Francisco. Director Arntz was the contact person for SOS office and he received one call that voting equipment at one place was not working due to a power outage. Power was restored and those votes were tabulated. In total there were 2400 poll workers; 570 polling places; 514 sites had Chinese/bilingual workers; 209 had Spanish/bilingual workers; 844 had high school student workers. It was a low turnout election but a full scale operation and the DOE met its obligation. There were 100 field reps. to provide support to polling places. Most polling places closed by 10pm, materials were delivered to warehouse at Pier 48 shortly after that, and the department completed election night reporting by 11pm. Overseas ballots were delayed because the file pulled back from printer to add text. The vendor printed these ballots on Saturday but did not deliver them to the post office before it closed. The Department was also late in sending email ballots to overseas voters. San Francisco was 1 of 13 counties in California to miss the deadline for mailing ballots to overseas voters. To prevent that from happening again the DOJ entered a consent decree which obligates SOS to provide all counties with online training session.

(c) The pilot project with RFID was somewhat successful but the DOE would need a stronger system in place to expand implementation and get full benefit. Phones not heavy.

(d) Commissioner Ruiz-Healy asked Director Arntz how many voters were affected by the overseas ballot issue. Director Arntz responded that no voters were affected because the DOE contacted everyone who had an email addresses or phone numbers and they all had their ballots at that time. Additionally, DOJ required them to express mail to voters who requested an email ballot, cost department $25,000, which proved to be unnecessary because ballots were emailed.

Division Reports
(a) Administrative (Budget & Personnel) – Director Arntz appeared at the BOS hearing regarding budget. The Mayor’s Office added fringe benefits for temporary employees and now there is a budget for their benefits. The DOE closed out encumbrances for Redistricting Task Force, PO’s, and processed paperwork for temporary employees.
(b) Campaign Services Division – Already active for November election.
(c) Outreach Division – Canvass counted ballots
(d) Publications Division – Working on doing better job next time. Talking with vendors to synthesize process together.
(e) Poll Worker Division – Checks will be mailed tomorrow, online survey ready for poll workers, after-action reports will follow.
(f) Precincts – New Interim maps received today with new district lines; new cleaner version will come in a few months.
(g) Technology Division – Swamped; YouTube video up
(h) Voter Services – Clean up provisional ballots, took 10 days to do, processed petitions, and other work piling up.
(i) Warehouse – Inventorying equipment to see what’s needed for November; debriefed with vendors re: testing, performance, delivery, and handling of equipment to identify any trends regarding its operation.

1. Commissioner Yu: How many FT and Temp FTE’s year-round? 15 may increase to 17 ½ and Year-Round Temp 16/17.
2. Commissioner Yu: Are the temps related to outreach? We have 3 FT positions for outreach.
3. Commissioner Rowe commented that she was glad to know that the Department is tracking issues with machine in regards to trends. It appeared there were more issues with the Edge machine and Insight machines due to being placed in sun. Commissioner Rowe suggests the Department add an instruction not to do so in future poll-worker trainings.

No reports.

(a) Report back on individual Commissioner’s observations from the June 5, 2012 Consolidated Primary Election.
(1) Commissioner Matthews was inspector of precinct 2112. Great workers. Slow day.
(2) Commissioner Rowe was inspector and had similar experience of Commissioner Matthews. Training well done and had extra training with machines which was great idea. Very well received. Detailed map for polling places were very helpful. Voters responded better to that vs. verbal instructions for provisional ballots.
(3) Commissioner Ruiz-Healy observed at back end operations at City Hall. Impressed with logistical feat. Discovered parking control officers picked up data pack and brought to City Hall. Facebooked and Tweeted about election and got great feedback from citizens.
(4) Commissioner Safont went early to her polling place and discovered that it had moved. When she went to the correct polling place she was the only voter which has never happened to her.
(5) Commissioner Yu voted at City Hall. Very few people. Suggested a “start here” finger to make it easier. List was so short for the Presidential candidates that it was easy to miss. Low turnout.
(6) Commissioner Townsend went to City Hall to observe. Subdued. Turnout was disappointing and scary. When people stay at home that is a vote too. Doesn’t go to stores that do not offer anything he needs or wants.
(7) Commissioner Gleason never votes by mail so he went online and discovered that you can order VBM online. Phenomenal service considering he procrastinated to the very last minute.
(8) Public Comment: None.

(a) The Commission will follow its standard procedure of cancelling its July 18, 2012 meeting. BOPEC will also cancel its July meeting. The next Commission meeting will be on August 15, 2012. At this meeting, the Commission will conduct its evaluation of the June 5, 2012 election.
(b) Evaluation of June 5, 2012 election
(1) BOPEC will consider this item at its Wednesday August 1, 2012 meeting. The Post election reports are very lengthy and will be provided online only. No objections.
(2) The full Commission will consider this item on August 15, 2012.
(c) Election plan and approval for November election
(1) BOPEC will consider this item at its September 5, 2012 meeting
(2) The Commission will consider the election plan and the employee waiver at its September 19, 2012 meeting,
(d) Ballot Simplification Committee will begin meeting at the end of July. Notifications will be sent via email in late July.
(e) Commissioner Matthews asked Director Arntz if he could inform the Commission of dates for announcements (i.e.drawing of winner of Central Committee, 1% tally of precincts are being drawn, etc.) Director Arntz responded that everything is posted on their website.
(f) Commissioner Townsend suggested a few years ago, that we have an outreach committee to discuss how we may involve ourselves to help increase voter participation. It was voted down due to it not being a part of committee’s job. He will speak with Commissioner Gleason at a later date to discuss in detail to see if that could be a future agenda item. 30% turnout is real close to votes not being a democracy and holds some danger to such.
(g) New Commission Secretary’s schedule.
(1) Tuesday – 8am – 5pm
(2) Wednesdays 8am – 5pm
(A) 1st and 3rd Wednesday 1pm – 9pm
(3) Thursday – 8am – 12pm
(4) Agenda items need to be finalized by Wednesday so the agenda can be posted on Thursdays.
(h) Public Comment
(1) David Cary appreciates ongoing work that the Commission is doing in preparation of the November election. He would like the Commission to review its policy on rank choice voting tabulations on election night. He further suggested that the Commission make revisions or establish a new policy. Last year it worked out well and there were important benefits that enabled people to see the second and third choice votes are affecting preliminary results.

9. Commissioner Gleason moved to adjourn.


Last updated: 6/28/2012 12:09:26 PM