San Francisco elections to be monitored by state

AP file photoAP file photo

AP file photoAP file photo

In response to allegations of electioneering impropriety, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen will send observers to monitor San Francisco’s municipal election today.

“Concerns have been raised by a variety of San Franciscans,” said Bowen’s spokeswoman Nicole Winger, who added that San Francisco will be the only California jurisdiction to host observers this year.

The observers will work with local authorities, Winger said.

“They serve as extra eyes and ears,” she explained. “It’s typically roving observers, visiting randomly-selected polling places.”

Winger declined to say whether the decision to send observers was influenced by an Oct. 23 letter from seven mayoral candidates that alleged voter manipulation by supporters of interim Mayor Ed Lee and requested outside monitors.

That letter was also sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, but on Monday the department did not include San Francisco on a list of jurisdictions federal monitors would visit.

San Francisco mayoral candidates said they welcomed the state observers.

“That’s the first bit of good news as far as election integrity that we’ve had so far,” said Sterling Clifford, spokesman for the mayoral campaign of former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier.

Lee spokesman Tony Winnicker said the mayor’s campaign also welcomed the monitors.

“We always said we supported that,” Winnicker said. “We have concerns that there have been efforts to suppress the vote, particularly in the Chinese community.”

John Arntz, The City’s Elections Commission director, said it was not unusual for observers to come to San Francisco. He said their presence would be helpful.

“If there’s something we can improve next year, they can let us know,” he said.

acrawsford@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsSF Mayoral Race

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read