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September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
At 6:00 pm
City Hall, Room 421
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

1. Call to Order & Roll Call
Chairperson Jill Rowe called the meeting to order at 6:04pm. PRESENT:
Commissioner Richard Matthews, and Catalina Ruiz-Healy. ALSO PRESENT:
Commission Secretary Tachina Alexander and Director of Elections John Arntz.

2. Approval of Minutes
Commissioner Matthews moved to approve the minutes of the August 1, 2012 meeting of the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee. It was seconded by Commissioner Ruiz-Healy. The roll call vote was UNANIMOUS to approve the minutes.

3. November 6, 2012 Election Plan Review
Discussion and possible action to approve the Election Plan for the November 6, 2012 Consolidated General Election.

Director Arntz stated that the plan is essentially the plan they’ve used in the past several elections. A difference that may stand out for this election is that preliminary ranked-choice voting results will be tabulated twice on election night. The first initial report will be the vote-by-mail numbers at the beginning of the night when the polls close. They will not do the spreadsheets that show the reallocation of votes because they do not have enough time. When the last polling place reports that night, they will do it again and then one final time at the end of the night they’ll do another preliminary ranked-choice report. They will post the data image on the website along with a summary report. The reason that they are making this change is because they have 6 ranked-choice contests; 2 are uncontested, 2 probably won’t have much of a contest and if they do they won’t have multiple rounds, so it won’t take long to generate the reports. The Department has wanted to do the additional reporting for a while. Now they’re more comfortable with the system and feel they will have the time to do the additional ranked-choice reporting for this election.

Another difference is that there will be ballot transfer taking place at the polling places. When they have high turnout elections and multiple card ballots, so many cards go into the machines at the polling places that the machines will fill up. When the cards go in the top they will start to jam and it causes a lot of problems. To address this, the Feds will come in when the counters on the machines hit 900, and announce “We are going to transfer the voter cards from the tabulator into the blue box.” They will then pick up the cards and put them into a blue box that will be kept at the polling places, seal them, and at the end of the night the deputies will come and pick those up.

Commissioner Ruiz-Healy asked if online voter registration is different for this election.

Director Arntz stated they received word from the Secretary of State’s office last week that they plan to have online voter registration running sometime in early September. He went on to say that his will be huge and the more people that they can get registered online is better for the Department. There is usually an increase of around 25,000 – 40,000 in registration before a presidential election, so if 10-15% of those people register online, that would be a huge load off of the Department.

Commissioner Matthews asked how would the online voters’ signatures be obtained?

Director Arntz explained that online voters fill in their personal information online and the Secretary of State sends the information to the Department of Motor Vehicles and they match the signatures with DMV’s signature record. If they match, DMV would then transmit the information to the Secretary of State’s office and then to the Department for its database.

Commissioner Ruiz-Healy asked what would happen if the DMV did not have an updated address?

Director Arntz replied that the Department would send the voters a card to sign or they could print a copy of the card from the website, sign it, and mail it to the Department. He went on to say that online would be great for voters who are already in the DMV’s database and registering late. If not, mailing in a signed card would still be an available option.

It was also stated that using electronic tablets would be a great tool to use for registration. Director Arntz agreed that if the Department had an app for Android and iPhone users that would improve registration drives.
Commissioner Matthews asked if the Turbo program captured signatures. Director Arntz replied that the Tablets would but it doesn’t have to. The way the Department would set it up would be to transmit the data on-the-spot which would increase outreach events’ registration numbers. He went on to state that as much as possible he would like to automate elections and if he could he would have it all automated.

Chairperson Rowe stated that it seems as if with each election year things are moving in the direction of automation.

Director Arntz agreed and added that the Department received an approval to expand its vote-by-mail scanner/sorter. A vendor that the Department used for other purposes 3 years ago was not initially a qualified vendor in San Francisco for the scanner/sorter, but that vendor recently qualified and gave a quote that was around $100,000 less than last year’s vendor so the Controller allowed the Department to transfer funds from materials and supplies to capital outlay. The Department will therefore expand its scanning/sorting capabilities. This machine will cut the Department’s processing time of the vote-by-mail ballots by 40%.

Commissioner Matthews stated that on page 8, item J of the November 6 Consolidated General Election Plan, there was a heading sentence fragment. Director Arntz will fix the error.

Commissioner Matthews moved that the November 6 Consolidated General Election Plan be forwarded to the full Elections Commission with a recommendation to approve it. It was seconded by Commissioner Ruiz-Healy. The vote was unanimous to approve.

4. General Public Comment
No public present.

5. Adjournment at 6:13pm
Last updated: 1/10/2014 10:57:02 AM