Voter turnout for election expected to be low

Without a presidential primary, voters statewide, including in San Francisco, are not expected to turn out to the polls in large numbers Tuesday, according to political experts.

As of Friday, four days from the primary, less than one-third of the absentee ballots issued by the San Francisco Elections Department — about 50,000 of 162,526 — had been returned.

The City’s ballot has eight different ordinances, charter amendments and taxes, including a $198-per-parcel tax to help the San Francisco Unified School District.

The Democratic primary race for state Senate District 3 is also on the ballot. Incumbent Carole Migden faces competition from San Francisco Assemblymember Mark Leno and Marin County’s former Assemblymember Joe Nation.

City Department of Elections Director John Arntz said there could be some election fatigue, since voters are being called to the polls for the second time in seven months.

San Francisco political analyst David Latterman estimated that turnout would be in the low- to mid-30percent range.

University of San Francisco politics professor Corey Cook said voter turnout in The City will be “very, very low,” unless San Francisco renters come out to oppose Proposition 98, a statewide measure that would put strict limits on the government’s use of eminent domain and also phase out rent control.

Two competing local ballot measures related to the redevelopment of Bayview-Hunters Point could also draw out voters, Cook said.

Proposition G would give The City the green light to move forward with a plan to rebuild portions of BayviewHunters Point, a project that could include up to 10,000 new housing units. Proposition F would require the project to offer 50 percent of the housing units at below-market-rate prices, a mandate that the developer says would kill the project.

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

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