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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh Yes, There's an Election Today. A Guide For the Last-Minute Voter.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge Hey, lazy! It ain't too late to turn in that absentee ballot!
  • Hey, lazy! It ain't too late to turn in that absentee ballot!
Here at SF Weekly, we make a point of not telling you how to vote. Well, I'm going to break that taboo today. But not really. I'm not telling you who or what to vote for. I'm going to, literally, tell you how to vote.

When we spoke with Department of Elections head John Arntz Monday, he reported that around 49,000 of the 183,849 absentee ballots mailed to San Franciscans had been returned. San Francisco's Department of Elections doesn't project voter turnouts -- but they do acknowledge the obvious. This is a crap turnout; "It's tracking more like a special election," admits Arntz. It also figures that more people will vote via mail than in person. So the above numbers point to two things: Folks don't care about this election (probable) or folks notice their absentee ballots sitting beneath a pile of unopened letters and figure "eh, too late."

Well, if you had the ballot mailed to your domicile a month prior to election day and consciously chosen to blow it off -- hey, that's on you. But if you're figuring the deadline has passed to return those absentee envelopes -- you're wrong. Here's how.

Any registered voter is welcome to drop off his or her ballot at City Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. And, if heading down to the basement of 1 Carlton B. Goodlett Place is too onerous, you can simply return the absentee ballot at any polling place. If you wish to know the nearest polling place to where you are now, the Department of Elections even has a handy guide for that: Check it out here.

Yes, adventurous voters, you could return your sealed ballot at a different polling place each year. Have fun with it -- maybe that way we'll beat the putrid 28 percent turnout recorded in May's election. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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