Many S.F. voters still waiting for election guides

Many voters may not be aware that there is an election in less than two weeks, and delays at The City’s Department of Elections are not helping them get educated.

With 12 days to go until the June 6 election, more than 80,000 San Francisco voters still have not received their local voter information guides.

The election involves hotly contested Democratic primaries for congressional seats and several top state seats, but voters have already received information guides for those races.

What’s missing is the information guide put out by The City that details four ballot measures, membership on three political party committees and a Superior Court judge.

“As of yesterday, I have not received my voter information,” Outer Richmond resident Michael Samson said on Wednesday, adding that it’s not the first time information has been long in coming. “I do remember one election a couple of years ago and I had to call [the Department of Elections] again. They had to send the thing priority mail, which I consider a waste of taxpayer money.”

Supervisors Jake McGoldrick, Michela Alioto-Pier and Chris Daly have all received complaints from citizens worried that their information packets will arrive too late for them to make informed decisions.

Legally, The City has until Saturday to send out the guides and will make that goal, Elections Deputy Director Linda Tulett said. She said 80 percent of the guides had been shipped out by May 24.

If they are mailed out Saturday, voters will not receive them until Tuesday at the earliest because of Monday’s Memorial Day holiday, a short time for those who must turn around and mail absentee ballots. Those ballots must be returned, not postmarked, by June 6 at 8 p.m. More than a quarter of The City’s voters, 129,519, had requested absentee ballots as of May 24. Roughly 80 percent of those requesting absentee ballots vote, Tulett said.

Local election guides in neighboring cities arrived weeks ago, according to voters.

Tulett said the guides weredelayed because of uncertainty about which elections vendor would get The City’s business, as one company struggled to implement state-certified rank-choice voting in time for the November election. The guides cost roughly $685,000 to print and $200,000 to mail, she said.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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