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September 19, 2012 Minutes

Elections Commission Meeting
Wednesday September 19, 2012
City Hall, Room 408
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102


President Gerard Gleason called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm. PRESENT. Commissioners Rosabella Safont, Gerard Gleason, Arnold Townsend, Winnie Yu, Catalina Ruiz-Healy, Jill Rowe. Also present: Commission Secretary Tachina Alexander, Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee, and Director of Elections John Arntz. EXCUSED ABSENT: Commissioner Richard P. Matthews

2. Public comment on any issue within the Elections Commission’s general jurisdiction unless otherwise included in an item on this agenda. There was no public comment.

3. Approval of Minutes from previous meetings.
Commissioner Jill Rowe moved to approve the Minutes of the August 15, 2012 Elections Commission Meeting. Commissioner Catalina Ruiz-Healy
seconded the motion. No Public comment. The roll call vote was UNANIMOUS to approve the minutes.

Director Arntz presented the following update on the November 6, 2012 Consolidated
General Election.

Division Reports
(a) Administrative (Budget & Personnel) – They have been working primarily on securing materials and supplies for the Department’s other divisions and for the polling places. Additionally, they’ve been focused on processing the forms necessary to hire the temporary employees who will work with the Department for the upcoming election.
(b) Ballot Distribution Division – Director Arntz reported that they have been preparing for this election as well as the retirement board election. Ballots for the retirement board of elections will begin to be distributed on August 23, 2012. They’ve been organizing and preparing materials for the candidates and will send written instructions to department’s designated coordinator on election procedures. Additionally, they have been coordinating with K&H, the ballot printing vendor, for the vote-by-mail production and mailing, the Sherriff’s department in regards to ballot security measures, as well as with the departmental divisions in creating the ballot order for the election. They have also been planning the division’s activities and utilizing their resources, organizing work space in order to accommodate the addition of the new envelope sorting equipment and coordinating with the Municipal Transit Association in regards to street parking closures by City Hall prior to and on Election Day.
(c) Campaign Services Division – Candidate write-in period ends Tuesday October 23, 2012. They are currently in the process of interviewing and hiring phone bank bilingual staff while simultaneously trying to locate a phone bank room. There is a need for updating the phone bank resource module and handbook as well as the Observer Guide and they have taken that task head-on as well.
They have also been recruiting the Election Observer Panel. They are also actively coordinating the scheduling of the Department of Election’s Open House which will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2012. The Secretary of State’s office has launched the online voter registration and has seen a significant increase in the amount calls and front counter activity requesting and submitting voter registration cards.

(d) Outreach Division – As reported during the last election commission meeting they are trying to focus on young voters. As of today, September 19, 2012, they have had 262 outreach events scheduled for August 1 – November 6, 2012 and 21 organizations have represented at the Community Network Meeting TODAY on “How to Register Voters.” Election materials are on the way from the printer and all materials are available online at The following materials that are available are election flyers, election posters, rank-choice voting posters ((English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian), and revised Right to Vote brochures for formerly incarcerated people (English, Chinese, Spanish). These materials are also being sent for display to 500 community-based organizations, all 125 schools, all 28 public library branches, all city recreation centers, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood services, and all City departments. In regards to advertising, the following mediums are being utilized: 14 neighborhood newspapers, 2 Chinese-language newspapers, and 1 Spanish-language newspaper. There will also be a Spanish and Chinese radio station Public Service Announcement utilized to reach as many people as possible. Finally, the Muni advertisement will launch on October 8, 2012 with 95 Muni bus exteriors, 2,000 Muni interior bus cards, and 25 Bus shelters.

(e) Poll Worker Division – Director Arntz reported that nearly 1,600 poll workers (55% of the recruitment goal) have been signed up and recruitment is continuing. The Poll worker Intake Room opened its doors on September 10th and there has been a steady flow of applicants since then. In an effort to recruit high school students, the division’s personnel have visited 18 public and private high schools and handed out approximately 3,000 applications.

The division personnel used historical turnout at the polls data to identify sites with high traffic on Election Day. 286 sites that had more than 400 voters in 2008 November election, will be staffed with one additional clerk for the upcoming election. They're also planning to supply these sites with additional voting booths and other election supplies and materials.

The poll worker manual has been finalized and posted online on the Department’s website.

Training classes for clerks and high school students will begin on September 29th and continue through October 27th. In addition to the required training classes, they continue offering optional training labs and currently approximately 20% of poll workers have signed up to attend this additional training. Recruitment of Field Election Deputies is also continuing and presently 58 have been signed up and additional 50 are yet to be recruited.

A new website tool, eData, was launched this week which allows the public to view data on various elections areas, such as voter registration, vote-by-mail statistics, polling place and poll worker recruitment, ballot processing, election results, and more.

(f) Precinct Services Division – Today was the deadline for finalizing the voter information pamphlet mailing file with the locations of the polling places and the accessibility information of each site to print on the back cover of the voter information pamphlet. If they do not have a site secured for one of the precincts, they will mail the voters of that precinct a postcard notifying them of the polling place location as soon as one is secured. Additionally, postcards are also mailed to voters if their polling place should change after the voter information pamphlets are mailed and a change sign is hung at the old site directing voters to the new location.

Official appointment letters are also being mailed to the polling places informing
them of the delivery dates and times of the equipment. They are creating
diagrams and instructions for the polling places that need special set ups.

(g) Publications - The English voter information pamphlet is finished and will be posted on the department’s website shortly. They expect to approve printer's proofs tomorrow. The voter mailing file will be submitted tomorrow evening and mailing is scheduled to begin in early October and should be completed by October 5th, according to the vendor's schedule.

(h) Technology Division – The Secretary of State will begin to test mapping file and query tomorrow.

(i) Voter Services – Completed the initial transfer of overseas voters on September 11, 2012 and completed initial emailing of ballots to overseas voters on September 13, 2012.

The processing of federal post cards and overseas request will be mailed out by the statutory date, September 22, 2012.
On September 7, 2012 the permanent voter file was sent to vendor for statutory mailing.
Voter services is currently preparing for early voting to open on October 9, 2012.
California on-line registration (California Online Voter Registration) is live now. If people complete the online form and the information is a perfect match then DMV will send the signature image to Secretary of State. Secretary of State will then link the signature image to the information on the registrants form and send forms and signature image to Department of Election. Since going live, over 300 users registered online using the site.

(j) Warehouse – Maintenance of equipment at warehouse begins testing in 2 weeks. To date there have not been any issues with any of the equipment.

1. Commissioner Yu stated that the eData is not as compatible with mobile devices because the entire page didn’t load on her phone and required her to scroll down to see all of the information.
2. Commissioner Townsend said, in regards to the poster ballot, would it be best to recommend that people not vote for candidates more than once otherwise they would be throwing away their votes? Director Arntz said that we could do it but we’ve had past complaints that there wasn’t enough information.
3. Commissioner Ruiz-Healy asked if the online registrants’ driver’s license and home address had to match before being printed and mailed? Commissioner Gleason stated that the Secretary of State’s information is verified instantaneously.
4. Commissioner Gleason wanted to know if the overseas ballots had already been mailed and Director Arntz stated that E60 was the first day they could mail them and the department mailed them on E57, which was last week.
5. Commissioner Gleason expressed concerned that since this is a Presidential election year that that may limit the number of voting booths. So could the number of booths be increased or will some polling places have more booths than others? Director Arntz said that’s a great idea and we’ll look into getting more booths as well as buying the cardboard dividers as well.
(A) Commissioner Townsend stated that he had spoken with the Mayor’s office and informed them that he has “timed out” of his term as a Commissioner and they committed to reappoint his replacement by December.
(B) Commissioner Ruiz-Healy put Director Arntz in touch with Google, Inc. to help turn out the vote.


6. Discussion and possible action to request a Waiver Allowing City
Employees to Assist the Department of Elections with the November 6,
2012 Consolidated General Election, per San Francisco Charter Section
13.104.5. Commissioner Townsend moved and Commissioner Ruiz-Healy
seconded that the Commission send the waiver request to the Board of Supervisors.
No public comment. The roll call vote was UNANIMOUS.

7. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING ELECTION COMMISSION’S REVIEW OF DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS POLICIES AND PROGRAMS FOR VOTER OUTREACH. Commissioner Rowe reported that BOPEC met and discussed Election plan and key things that will be done differently prior to this election. There will be a change in the release of preliminary votes. Director Arntz stated that Ranked-choice voting on the night of the election will release summary reports instead of the spreadsheet method which takes too much time. The Department will post reports on the website on election night and the following day a full report with spreadsheet will be released. Once the ballot bins reach 900 the FEDs will announce that the ballots are being transported to the warehouse.

Commissioner Ruiz-Healy asked of the 300 online registrants did they all have matching addresses?
Director Arntz said that the Secretary of State’s office only sends out validated information to the Department.
Commissioner Yu wanted to know if a counter could be added to the website to see how many hits it received?
Director Arntz said yes.

Commissioner Rosabella Safont moved that Election Commission approve the Election Plan and Commissioner Ruiz-Healy seconded. No public comment. The roll call vote was UNANIMOUS.

8. Announcements
There were none.


Commissioner Gleason asked if there was any public comment. There was none.
Commissioner Gleason stated that the next meeting will be held on October 17, 2012. He then asked if the October 3, 2012 BOPEC meeting would be cancelled and Commissioner Rowe affirmed.

Commissioner Townsend moved to adjourn and Commissioner Ruiz-Healy seconded.

Last updated: 10/4/2012 8:25:03 AM