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Fw: election fun!?



FYI
----- Original Message -----
From: Orth, Brandi <BOrth@fresno.ca.gov>
To: John Elder (E-mail) <jelder@spectrumltd.com>; Steve Knecht (E-mail)
<skglobal@earthlink.net>
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2002 2:39 PM
Subject: FW: election fun!?


See - this is what would have happened to us if we didn't get the absentees
in time.  Thanks goodness you guys came through for us.  Thanks.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tony@dcn.davis.ca.us [SMTP:tony@dcn.davis.ca.us]
> Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 8:59 AM
> To: ccac-elec-net@spoke.dcn.davis.ca.us
> Subject: election fun!?
>
> this is from today's SFChronicle...
>
> ==========================================================================
> ======
>
>  www.sfgate.com
>
> Bedeviled S.F. Elections Dept. short of absentee ballots
> Not again -- new S.F. voting oddity pops up Absentee ballots in short
> supply
>
> Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, February 8, 2002 2002 San
> Francisco Chronicle
>
>  URL:
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/02/08/MN49368.DTL
>
>
>  San Francisco -- The San Francisco Elections Department, already on the
> defensive for a series of recent missteps, has come up with an unusual
> solution to a shortage of absentee ballots -- voters are marking their
> choices on photocopies, and workers will transfer the results to real
> ballots when they're available.
>
>  The latest problem stems from a printing snafu that is out of San
> Francisco's control. Critics, however, raised questions yesterday about
> whether the integrity of the March 5 election had already been
> compromised.
>
>  "Oh boy, that really invites problems," said Ross Mirkarimi, spokesman
> for Harry Britt's campaign for the Assembly. "The more layers and steps
> you add to the elections process only invites more suspicion."
>
>  State elections officials say everything is on the up-and-up, and note
> that two other counties in California are doing the same thing as San
> Francisco.
>
>  But San Francisco's Elections Department has been under intense public
> scrutiny, and anything out of the ordinary draws attention. Secretary of
> State Bill Jones found problems with the vote count in the November 2000
> election. Questions also were raised about ballot security in last fall's
> election, although no wrongdoing was uncovered.
>
>  Supervisor Mark Leno, who is running against Britt in the Assembly's 13th
> District, asked Jones' office earlier this week to observe San Francisco's
> election next month.
>
>  Now comes the snag with absentee ballots. Because there are so many local
> and state races going before voters, most people in San Francisco will be
> marking three ballots. People who opted to vote early at City Hall this
> week were handed two original ballots and one that was photocopied.
>
>  The printer couldn't get all the originals printed on time, forcing city
> officials to come up with a backup plan: Have voters mark photocopies and
> then use elections workers to transfer the votes to the real ballots by
> hand when they're available.
>
>  It just so happens that the problem ballots contain the most contentious
> local races, including those for public defender, assessor and Assembly.
>
>  Cindy MacKenzie, a spokeswoman for the Department of Elections, said the
> department would transfer the results "in a totally open process, where
> the public can observe it every step of the way."
>
>  MacKenzie said as of yesterday, 94 people had been given photocopied
> ballots. Elections workers will begin transferring the votes to real
> ballots Feb. 26. They won't be counted until after the polls close on
> election day.
>
>  Jeff Sheehy was one of the voters who picked up the photocopied ballot at
> City Hall. He was troubled when he saw it.
>
>  "My vote is going to be revoted -- marked by someone else -- in an
> election where there might be close races," Sheehy said. "It's scary."
>
>
>  Procedures will be in place to assure that the accuracy is checked and
> double-checked, MacKenzie said.
>
>  Alfie Charles, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, which
> oversees elections in California, said San Francisco was handling the
> ballots correctly.
>
>  "They are required to provide the ballots to the voters, so the copying
> of a ballot card, and the transferring of the vote to the real ballot
> card, is the proper way to do it," Charles said.
>
>  What's unfortunate, he said, is that the Department of Elections did not
> alert the public of the problem from the get-go.
>
>  "We would have recommended that they publicly announce their situation
> and let people know what's happening before the voting began," Charles
> said. He added that San Francisco elections officials had not alerted his
> office of the problem, either.
>
>  Mono and Mariposa counties also are missing some of their absentee
> ballots.
>
>  All three counties contracted with the same printing company, Sequoia
> Voting Systems. Hugh Webb, vice president of the company's printing
> division, said he hoped to get San Francisco its remaining ballots by
> Saturday.
>
>  E-mail Rachel Gordon at rgordon@sfchronicle.com.
>
>  2002 San Francisco Chronicle Page A - 21