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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today's Voting Updates Mean 'Nothing,' San Francisco Elections Chief Says

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge votesign.jpg

San Francisco election junkies are already well aware that today the city will again run Ranked-Choice Voting and give a clearer tabulation of who may be our next supervisors.

But Department of Elections Head John Arntz isn't putting a whole lot of value in what he and his round-the-clock vote-counters will reveal today. When asked what we could determine from today's forthcoming numbers, he candidly answered "nothing."

The Department of Elections still has 11,000 ballots to count -- and Arntz isn't calling any elections until the counting's done, the coffee is served, and the fat lady has delivered an aria.

"The only time I predict results is when we have the final ones in hand," he says. "It's going to take us the full 28 days" to certify this election.

Arntz could not name offhand how many ballots have yet to be counted by district. Tallying where ballots are from would be yet another thing for the department to do as it almost literally burns the midnight oil tabulating votes until the wee hours each day.

You won't hear any speculation from Arntz -- his "just the facts" attitude would do Joe Friday proud. But it seems rather safe to call Districts 6 and 8 for Jane Kim and Scott Wiener. As for Districts 2 and 10, both are still very much up in the air. In District 10 in particular, any number of candidates could still win.

Onetime D-10 frontrunner Tony Kelly, meanwhile, expressed alarm that 70 provisional ballots from Bayview may have escaped the Department of Elections' custody at one point. Arntz denied this. He says the ballots were either at the precinct, at the department's warehouse at Pier 48, or, since Saturday, at City Hall. "I know they weren't" out of city custody, he said. "They were at the pier. Under a charter amendment, it's required that the sheriff's office provide security for voted ballots. We've had sheriff's deputy providing security [at the warehouse] 24 hours a day since before the election."

In any event, even though it may mean "nothing," the department will release its latest figures in about three hours time. Elections junkies are already climbing the walls. So are the candidates.

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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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