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Monday, November 7, 2011

State Election Monitors to Observe S.F. Voting Tomorrow

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge It's never a good sign when the state has to intervene
  • It's never a good sign when the state has to intervene

The California Secretary of State is sending election observers to oversee poll workers and voters as they cast their vote starting tomorrow morning.

State officials would not confirm how many election monitors would be in San Francisco, but said they will be visiting precincts throughout the day, asking questions and watching voters mark their ballots.

"It's extra eyes and ears on the ground," said Nicole Winger, spokeswoman with the Secretary of State. "Concerns have been raised by a variety of San Franciscans about this election."

She's referring to the recent election scandal, where Mayor Ed Lee supporters were accused of marking ballots for Cantonese-speaking voters in Chinatown.

State Sen. Leland Yee's campaign said they busted the poll workers telling voters how to mark their ballots, which they said could be considered fraud. Mayoral candidates wrote a letter to the Secretary of State and the District Attorney demanding an investigation into the alleged voter fraud and asking for election monitors when voters hit the polls on Nov. 8.

Matt Dorsey, spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera's campaign, said they were happy to hear that monitors will be on hand tomorrow. "Legitimate questions have been raised about electioneering activities, and we're grateful to Secretary of State Bowen for recognizing that oversight is needed," Dorsey said.  "San Franciscans deserve to have confidence in the legitimacy of their elections."

Tony Winnicker, spokesman for Lee's campaign, says they welcome the oversight as well.

"We are very concerned about voter suppression and intimidation tactics against Chinese voters by some campaigns, and have recruited dozens of volunteer lawyers at precincts across town to protect against that," Winnicker said. "Nothing is more important than the integrity of the election process."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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