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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) slides into home for the score on a triple by San Francisco Giants left fielder Austin Slater (13) in the 6th inning at Oracle Park on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants bats rally for Gausman

Through the first 10 games of the 2021 season, the story for… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Most Read