The Road Ahead

After weeks of counting, the votes in the State Senate race are now final – with the total results 49% for our campaign and 51% for Scott Wiener’s campaign. As we anticipated, it was a very close contest and while I’m disappointed we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, I’m proud of the campaign we ran.

I’m so thankful for the support we received from over 200,000 voters, hundreds of volunteers and over 30,000 contributions averaging $47 each – all dedicated to the idea that we can have a City and a State that works for all of us.

In the face of over $5 million in special interest spending for our opponent we were unable to succeed in this campaign. But the struggle is not over – far from it.

I’m going to continue to fight for all of you: to end the evictions, create more affordable housing, bring good jobs to our City, expand access to higher education and help homeless residents. Given the frightening news of what is happening nationally, it’s more important than ever that we work together to strengthen our diverse community and protect it against those who would seek to divide, demonize and devastate everything that makes San Francisco special.

I wish Scott well in his work in Sacramento. But I know we still have a lot to do right here and right now in San Francisco to make our City more affordable for everyone.

I’m tremendously proud that voters passed Propositions W and X to help make City College free and to end many of the displacements that were threatening artists, community service organizations and small businesses. These are great steps forward, but there is more to do.

I’m ready for the challenge and I hope you are too.

We’ll be celebrating the holidays this Friday at 5:30pm at Tradition (441 Jones Street, SF) and I hope you can come! It’s been a long year and I want to personally thank you for how hard you worked to help our campaign and to save our City.

Today is Election Day in San Francisco – Here’s Some Information To Help You Get Your Vote Out Today!

For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – Today is Election Day for the 2016 Consolidated General Election.

All San Francisco polling places citywide are open for voters from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any voter who is in line when the polls close at 8 p.m. is allowed to vote.

San Franciscans can confirm the location of their polling place at sfelections.org/pollsite or by calling (415) 554-4375.

Voters may also vote at the City Hall Voting Center. Located on the ground floor of City Hall, the Voting Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vote-by-mail voters may drop off their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at any polling place in San Francisco, at the Department’s Ballot Drop-off Stations outside two City Hall entrances—the main entrance at Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street) and the Grove Street entrance—or at the Department’s office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked with today’s date and received by the Department no later than Monday, November 14.

If using a blue USPS mailbox, voters should check the noted collection time to ensure the ballot is not too late for that day’s pick-up. Voters can also take the ballot to a local post office and confirm with the counter representative that the ballot will be postmarked with today’s date.

Anyone with questions related to voting or other election matters is urged to call the Department of Elections immediately at (415) 554-4375 so that staff can assist while the polls are open and there is still the opportunity to vote.

  • The Department of Elections will release preliminary election results tonight. The first report will be available at approximately 8:45 p.m., with updates throughout the evening. The results will be available from the following sources:
  • sfelections.org – all results reports will be posted on the Department’s website, with a link to statewide results on the Secretary of State’s website
  • San Francisco Government Television – SFGTV, Channel 26, will report summary results throughout the night as a banner during SFGTV programming
  • City Hall, North Light Court – a large screen will display SFGTV programming that will show summary results; printed copies of the summary results reports will be available at approximately 8:45 p.m., with updates available at approximately 9:45 p.m., 10:45 p.m., and 11:30 p.m.
  • Department of Elections, City Hall, Room 48 – printed copies of results reports will be available at the Department’s front counter (due to their length, the preliminary Statement of the Vote will not be printed).

On Twitter @sfelections and Facebook.com/sfelections

Department of Elections Provides Information about Provisional Voting in the November 8 Election

SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, November 7, 2016 – To shed light on the process, the Department of Elections provides information about provisional voting and the review process of provisional ballots cast at the polls on Election Day.

Occasionally, there are circumstances that require a voter to cast a provisional ballot. Often it is because the voter went to a different polling place than the one where he or she is assigned, based on his or her home address, and does not wish to be re-directed to the assigned polling place. Another common reason is that the Department issued a vote-by-mail ballot but the voter is unable to surrender it in exchange for a polling place ballot.

Under these circumstances, a poll worker will issue a provisional ballot—a regular polling place ballot that is placed in a special envelope prior to being put in the ballot box. The envelope contains fields for the voter to write information that allows Department staff to establish the voter’s eligibility in order to count the ballot. The envelope also contains a detachable receipt that the voter can use to check the status of the provisional ballot.

Along with other voted ballots and election materials, all provisional ballot envelopes are transported on Election Night from polling places to the Department’s Processing Center at its Pier 48 warehouse, where the envelopes are organized by precinct and manually counted; the count is released to the public the next day and may vary from the final count of provisional ballots cast.

Later on Election Night, the envelopes are transported to the Department’s office in City Hall for processing and review, which begins the next day. Provisional ballot processing is open to public observation, either in person at the Department’s office in City Hall or on SF Elections Live. This process will take approximately two weeks, depending on the volume. Staff will work every day until all provisional ballots have been reviewed.

First, staff capture an image of each provisional ballot envelope and batch the images per precinct to ready them for the next step: entering a record of receipt of each provisional ballot into the associated voter’s record. Then, the voter’s information on each envelope image is compared to the voter’s information on file with the Department.

If a voter is determined to be eligible and has not cast another ballot, the provisional ballot is counted. If the provisional ballot has the same contests as the ballots used in the voter’s assigned precinct, then all of his or her votes are counted. If the voter cast a provisional ballot with some different contests than the ballots used in his or her assigned precinct, the Department counts only the votes for the contests on which the voter was entitled to vote.

The most common reasons that provisional ballots cannot be counted are: the person is not registered to vote, the voter cast a provisional ballot in the wrong county, or signature issues. Before the final determination to challenge the ballot is made, the information is reviewed three, and in some cases four times, by senior Department staff.

The Department of Elections advises voters to use the Provisional Ballot Status Lookup Tool on sfelections.org to check the status of their provisional ballots. Starting Friday, November 11, voters who cast provisional ballots can confirm receipt of their ballots by the Department and track the status as staff continue the multi-step review process.

If a provisional ballot could not be counted, the Provisional Ballot Status Lookup Tool indicates the reason that it was challenged. Any voters who believe that they should be registered in San Francisco but learn that their ballot was challenged because their voter registration record could not be found or is cancelled are urged to contact the Department at (415) 554-4375 as soon as possible. In this situation, the Department can provide information about the process to petition the Superior Court to compel the Department to count the ballot before the election results are certified. The Department expects to certify results 3-4 weeks after Election Day.

The Department also provides a toll-free telephone number, (866) 325-9163, by which voters can obtain information about the status of their provisional ballots.

How to Return a Vote By Mail Ballot for the November 8 Election in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, November, 4, 2016 –The Department of Elections encourages voters who have not yet returned their vote-by-mail ballots of several options to do so:

Vote By Mail

Voters who plan to mail their ballots are reminded that, by law, the ballots must be postmarked, or date stamped by a delivery company, before or on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, and received by the Department no later than Monday, November 14.

If returning the ballot on Election Day by using a blue USPS mailbox, voters should check the noted collection time to ensure the ballot is not too late for that day’s pick-up; a ballot mailed after the pick-up time will likely be postmarked the next day. On Election Day, voters can also take the ballot to a local post office and confirm with the counter representative that the ballot will be postmarked that day.

Anyone uncertain about whether his or her mailed ballot will reach the Department in time is encouraged to instead bring the ballot to the City Hall Voting Center, the Department’s Ballot Drop-Off Stations, or any San Francisco polling place.

In Person

Voters returning ballots in person must do so no later than the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots can be returned to:

  • The Department’s Voting Center in City Hall or the Ballot Drop-Off Stations outside two City Hall entrances: the main entrance at Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street) and the entrance on Grove Street, which will be open:
    • This weekend, November 5–6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Monday, November 7, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Any polling place in San Francisco on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Voters can look up their nearest polling place at sfelections.org/pollsite.

Any voter who is unable to mail or personally return his or her ballot may designate a family member—a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister—or a person residing in the same household to return the ballot. The voter and his or her designee must provide the required information on the back of the vote-by-mail ballot return envelope.

Voters with questions about voting or returning their ballots can call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375, write to sfvote@sfgov.org, or visit the Department’s office in City Hall, Room 48.

Department of Elections: Don’t Forget to Check Your Polling Place Location Before Election Day

SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – The Department of Elections urges San Francisco voters to check their polling place location.

A number of polling places change every election, and a voter’s polling place for this election might be different from the one where he or she last voted.

The Department’s provides a Polling Place and Sample Ballot Lookup Tool for voters to confirm the address of their polling place. This tool can be accessed from the home page of sfelections.org, under “Key Election Links” or the dedicated slide in the informational slide show.

Checking a polling place address takes just minutes! Voters simply input their home address to access their polling place details, including type of the facility (i.e., school or public library), cross streets, and accessibility information, such as slope at the entrance. The tool interfaces with Google Maps, allowing voters to view a map that pinpoints their polling place location and get door-to-door walking, public transit, bicycling, or driving directions.

Voters’ home addresses determine their voting precinct and associated polling place, which in turn determines the content of their ballots. Voters in different parts of the City have different contests on their ballots. Therefore, it is important for voters to vote at their assigned polling place so that their ballot includes all candidates and contests for which they are eligible to vote.

If a voter goes to a polling place other than the one designated for the precinct in which he or she resides, the voter’s name will not be printed in the Roster of Voters. In this situation, a poll worker will first offer to redirect the voter to his or her assigned polling place, based on the voter’s home address. However, if the voter declines redirection, the poll worker will issue a provisional ballot which might not include all of the contests for which the voter is entitled to vote.

Voters can also check the address of their polling place on the back cover of their Voter Information Pamphlet, by contacting the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375, or writing to sfvote@sfgov.org.

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November 1 Is the Last Day to Request a Ballot by Mail for the November 8 Election

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, November 1, 2016–Today is the last day voters can request a ballot to be mailed to them for the November 8 election. Mailed or hand-delivered applications for a vote-by-mail ballot must be received by the Department of Elections no later than 5 p.m.; online applications must be submitted before midnight.

There are various ways to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot to meet today’s deadline:

  • Complete an online application at sfelections.org/vbm
  • Call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375
  • Send a request by fax to (415) 554-4372 or by email as a scanned attachment to sfvote@sfgov.org. The request must include the voter’s name, date of birth, signature, home address, and the address to which the ballot should be mailed, if different from the home address.
  • Visit the Department’s office in City Hall, Room 48

After today’s deadline, voters who are unable, for any reason, to vote in person at the Voting Center or at their polling place on Election Day may authorize anyone to pick up their ballot at the Department’s City Hall Voting Center during these hours:

  • Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • This weekend, November 5–6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters may use the Ballot Pick-Up Authorization Form available on the home page of the Department’s website, sfelections.org, under “Key Election Links,” or submit their own written authorization. The written authorization must be signed under penalty of perjury and include the voter’s name, date of birth, signature, residential address, and the name of person authorized to pick up the ballot.

Voters with questions about voting are advised to contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375, write to sfvote@sfgov.org, or visit the Department’s office in City Hall, Room 48.

 

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4375
sfelections.org

Department of Elections Asks Voters to Fold Each Vote-by-Mail Ballot Card Separately Before Inserting into the Return Envelope

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director
For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Sunday, October 30, 2016 –The Department of Elections has received 86,877 voted ballots to date, which represents 27% of those issued.

The Department reminds voters who are yet to return their ballots to fold each ballot card separately before inserting the cards into the return envelope, as shown in this video.

This small step makes the return envelope flatter and streamlines the processing of these four- or five-card ballots.

The Department of Elections uses a mail sorter and a ballot opener to maximize efficiency of several ballot processing steps. If a voter folds all ballot cards together before inserting them into the return envelope, the envelope becomes very thick and can jam the equipment, slowing the process.

The opening and processing of accepted vote-by-mail ballots is continuing at the Department’s office in City Hall and is being broadcast on SF Elections Live.

Voters with questions about voting or returning their ballots are encouraged to call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375, write to sfvote@sfgov.org, or visit the Department’s office in City Hall, Room 48.

 

San Francisco Department of Elections
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4375
sfelections.org