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Meeting Information

Elections Commission

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 

 City and County of San Francisco

Elections Commission

Approved: April 15, 2009

Minutes of the Meeting held

City Hall, Room 408

March 18, 2009



1.      Vice President Safont called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm.


2.      COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:  Richard P. Matthews, Winnie Yu, Rosabella Safont, and Malcolm Yeung, Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee and Director John Arntz.  Excused: Commissioners Arnold Townsend and Joseph Phair.  Commissioner Phair was excused; Commissioner Townsend was late & missed the meeting.



(a) Discussion and possible action to approve the Minutes of the February 18, 2009, Elections Commission Meeting.  Commissioner Winnie Yu asked for one minor correction and that the November 2008 election observation reports from Commissioner Safont’s report as well as hers be attached to the minutes.   Commissioner Matthews MOVED and Commissioner Yeung SECONDED approval of the minutes with these changes. 


The Roll Call Vote was UNANIMOUS to approve the minutes.


4.    Commissioners’ Reports


        Report of the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee meeting of March 4, 2009.  Chairperson Matthews reported that the Committee learned that the budget that was presented to the Commission in February has now been entered into the system by the Mayor’s Budget Office with no changes.  He reported that the Committee heard informative discussions regarding changes for the Election Plan and Chairperson Matthews referred the Commission to the minutes of the March 4th BOPEC meeting for more detail.


5.   Director’s Report



      Director Arntz reported that there has been no change or conversation with the Mayor’s office regarding the Draft Budget for the Elections Department. 


      The Director reported that the Secretary of State’s Office (SoS) has approved the current version of the software platform being used with the Sequoia Voting System for conditional use for the May election.  This is the version San Francisco uses.  The Department will be remaking the ballots from the audit tape onto paper ballots and then counting them on the equipment at City Hall.  This is the same process used in the November 2008 election. 


6.  New Business


      (a) Discussion and possible action to submit a request to the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco ("BoS") for a waiver allowing certain city employees or officers to work on the May 19, 2009 special election.  Commissioner Matthews MOVED and Commissioner Gleason SECONDED this item for approval.


The Roll Call Vote was UNANIMOUS to approve the waiver and submit it to the Board of Supervisors.


(b)  Discussion and possible action to authorize Commissioners to observe all phases of elections activities, including but not limited to pollworker training, materials assembly and distribution, election day activities, and post-election and canvass activities.  Commissioner Matthews MOVED and Commissioner Yeung SECONDED this item for approval.


The Roll Call Vote was UNANIMOUS to approve this item.


(c)  Discussion and possible action to direct communication to the BoS clarifying that the BoS' Voting Systems Task Force needs to include in its discussions, deliberations and possible suggestions options for voting systems equipment that first meet minimum standards including but not limited to compliance with federal Help America Vote Act requirements and San Francisco Charter provisions requiring ranked choice voting.   Commissioner Gleason explained that he wanted to have the Commission discuss whether it should urge the Board of Supervisors to require that its Voting Systems Task Force have a “starting point” in its discussions with minimum standards such as: getting a Ranked Choice Voting system certified for San Francisco and the Help America Vote requirements for the City. 


This item was TABLED because two members of the Commission were absent for this discussion.


ADJOURNMENT at 6:16 pm