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SF City Hall sees steady stream of voters for primary election

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San Francisco residents wait in line to receive their voting ballots at City Hall for California’s primary election on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A steady stream of voters turned up to cast ballots at City Hall voting booths for Tuesday’s presidential primary election, where long lines in the basement-level polling place moved quickly.

“We’ll probably have some of the highest voter turnout that we’ve had in the primary June election — ever,” said Jeremiah Jeffries said, who has worked as a first grade public school teacher in San Francisco for 18 years and volunteered as a campaigner for 16 years.

RELATED: San Francisco Election Coverage: June 7, 2016

“As public school teachers, it’s our responsibility to be involved in civics and really participate in helping shape the laws that affect all of our students, all of our families,” Jeffries said.

He sees Proposition C, a charter amendment that would increase affordable housing requirements, as an especially striking issue affecting his students.

“It has a direct impact on our schools in terms of who our students are,” Jeffries said. “It’s already difficult to be in school, but then to add a commute to a young child’s life has made it increasingly more difficult.”

San Francisco is a city of transplants, noted Jeffries, who moved to The City from Philadelphia nearly two decades ago. “We want to ground more families here and that takes time.”

Nicanora Contreras, 33, brought her 3-year-old son, Johnny Lucero, to the polls, where she cast her vote and her son darted around wearing an “I Voted!” sticker as an eye patch.

“Every vote counts,” Contreras said. “In my family, not too many vote. I don’t know why. But ever since I turned 18 I just made it my job to do so. I’m a citizen, so why not participate?”

Contreras’ older son is 13, and she plans to take him to the polls when he is old enough to vote. “Whatever we decide now, that will affect them later,” Contreras said.

Ricci, who declined to give her last name, mailed in her ballot but wore a voter’s sticker while she waited on the Polk Street steps of City Hall to handle other business.

“I do my research on all the candidates and then I decide according to my conscience who I’m going to vote for,” said Ricci, who owns a bar in the Mission District. “What happens nationally is going to affect you locally.”

She moved to San Francisco 40 years ago from New York and said she’s been involved in local politics through phone banking, and hosting rallies inside her bar as well as voter registration booths out front.

“I voted for Bernie Sanders, and very strongly,” Ricci said, adding that she votes every four years. “Hillary [Clinton]? Gimme a break. I think she’s the biggest snake on the planet…her record in New York as senator was not stellar.”

San Francisco registered voters can cast their ballots at City Hall starting 29 days before voting day.

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