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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

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Department of Elections
Elections Commission



Minutes of the

San Francisco Elections Commission, Budget and Policy Committee

City Hall, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 408

2:00 p.m., February 19, 2002

    1. Call to Order and Roll Call

    Commissioner Alix Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.

    COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Commissioner Alix Rosenthal, Commissioner Robert Kenealey; Commissioner Brenda Stowers (not present)

    STAFF PRESENT: Tammy Haygood, Director of Elections; Jeremy Eckstein, Assistant to the Director

    CITY ATTORNEY’S STAFF PRESENT: Julie Moll, Deputy City Attorney


    · Notice of Special Meeting of the Budget and Policy Committee and Agenda

    2. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Elections Commission.

    Note: the Commission will hear public comment on each item on the agenda before or during consideration of that item. At this time members of the public may address the Commission on items that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Elections Commission and that do not appear on the agenda.

    No Public Comments.

    3. Report from the Director of Elections on the impact on the Department of Elections if Proposition A (instant run-off voting) passes. (Discussion and Possible Action)

    Director Haygood reported on the impact on the Department of Elections if Proposition A (instant run-off voting) passed She stated that John Mott Smith for the Secretary of State’s Office, had not certified the software needed for instant run-off.

    During the Department of Elections’ research, Cambridge, MA was the only place that

    had the instant run-off. The instant run-off, however, was not being used on every race,

    ballots were counted manually.

    · She distributed the letter from Mr. Bradley Clark, Alameda County Registrar of Voters, dated October 30, 2001.

    Mr. Bradley Clark reminded that there were no laws, regulations or rules in the State of California that detailed how preferential elections were conducted. He stated that until the State law was established and regulated, that the Registrar of Voters could not conduct preferential voting.

    In his letter, he described the problems associated in conducting a preferential election consolidated with a regular election:

    · Two types of logic on touchscreen ballots

    · Absentee ballots could not accommodate both types of election

    · Voter Confusion

    · Possible disenfranchisement of voters

    · Need for revision of Charter and municipal codes

    · No State Laws

    (For further information, please refer to Mr. Bradley Clark’s letter dated October 30, 2001)

Public Comments:

    Commission President Tom Schulz outlined what the Department of Elections had to accomplish:

    · Inventory Control

    · Warehouse automation

    · Detailed look at voter database

    · Early voting at three satellite locations in San Francisco

    · Office relocation and cost

    Public Comments:

    Caleb Kleppner added that Cambridge, MA used the hand-count system until 1997 on

    instant run-off voting. He further added that after 1997, they started using the optical scan systems.

    4. Presentation of Department of Elections annual budget by the Director of Elections. (Discussion and Possible Action)

    · Distributed the Department of Elections Budget outline for Fiscal Year 2002 - 2003

    The Department of Elections annual budget was not presented by Director Haygood to the Committee. She stated that the department received a time extension from the Mayor’s office through Mr. Ara Minasian, Department of Elections Budget Analyst. She discussed the outline with the Budget and Policy Committee and stated that the testing of touch screen voting technology pilot program and a survey re: the use of optical system vs. touch screen technology would be included on the budget under special projects.

    Motion 021902-1:

    To wait for the proposed Fiscal Year 2003 budget before recommendation on March 13, 2002, Budget and Policy Committee meeting.

    (Rosenthal/Kenealey) Moved, Seconded, and Unanimously Passed.

    5. Discussion and Possible action regarding legislation requiring early voting at three satellite locations in San Francisco (Board of Supervisors File No. 020114). (Discussion and Possible Action)

    Director Haygood discussed the legislation requiring early voting at three satellite locations in San Francisco. She stated that few locations such as the basement in City Hall could be used as a touch-screen voting facility to satisfy the legislation requirement. She stated that the cost associated with a touch-screen booth was $3,000.00 and a precinct/satellite location would require four to five voting booths. She added that the cost associated with the printing of ballots would be eliminated but not the cost of absentee ballots.

    Commissioner Kenealey asked Director Haygood if sample ballots would still be printed. He also stated that the Secretary of State urged California voters to vote as permanent absentees.

    Director Haygood answered Commissioner Kenealey’s inquiry that the sample ballot cards would be printed with the Voter Information Pamphlet. The printer cost was mainly associated in printing the oversized ballot cards used in the Optech Eagle Machines.

    Commissioner Alix Rosenthal asked Director Haygood how much it would cost to implement the touch-screen technology.

    Director Haygood answered roughly about $10.5 million dollars. She stated that the city currently had 650 precincts which would require 3,500 booths and that each precinct would require four to five touchscreen voting booths.

    Ms. Julie Moll, Deputy City Attorney, discussed the legislation on early voting program as an extension of absentee voting. She stated that a voter would request a ballot through a window and that it was a fair common process in State government.

    Public Comments:

    Peter Fries voiced his concerns on the touch screen voting technology. He stated that localization of the Eagle was important and that it did not need an Internet connection. He was also concerned that the touchscreen voting technology was the first state of balloting on-line and that precinct would require a DSL connection for performance.

    Director Haygood commented that precincts would have to be electronically equipped. She stated that the Department of Elections would make the necessary arrangements for a telephone line which would allow for elections results to be directly linked from the precincts. She added that the memory packs would be eliminated if the precincts were linked to a modem.

    A five-minute recess was observed at 2:30 p.m.

    The meeting reconvened at 2:35 p.m.

    Line Item #5 on the agenda was discussed further.

    Director Haygood stated that the Department of Elections had considered using City Hall and one from each of the supervisorial districts as a voting satellite location with the hours and days of operation known to the public.

    Commissioner Alix Rosenthal asked Ms. Haygood if a cost analysis had been done on voting at three satellite locations in San Francisco.

    Director Haygood stated that she had not received a cost analysis and unsure that one had been done to-date.

    Chris Bowman stated that he was a former member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections. He stated that in 1994, while a member of the CACE, they had six sites.

    He stated that there were 33 extra precincts in this election. He stated that to get the cost of a satellite voting locations, to add the cost of operation by 1/3. He further stated that the cost was great. He suggested in trying a pilot program, one per district in reference to the satellite voting locations. trying a pilot program, one per district. He also suggested using the methodology voted vs. precinct and in doing a cost effective analysis.

    Peter Fries stated that Harvey Rose is the cost analysis person. He suggested checking with the Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst. He stated that the Director has to know how much the satellite locations would cost.

    Commissioner Rosenthal stated that the Budget and Policy Committee does not need to complicate things further and would report to the full Commission.

    6. Public comment.

    No public comments.


    Meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

    Minutes Prepared by: Ana Marie Paraiso