BOPEC (Elections Commission) Special Meeting

Monday, January 29, 2024

In this page:


    Meeting video and transcript available below.


    1. Call to order and roll call

      A member of the Commission will state the following (from the Commission's October 19, 2022 Land Acknowledgment resolution):

      The San Francisco Elections Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone, who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula.  As the indigenous stewards of this land and in accordance with their traditions, the Ramaytush Ohlone have never ceded, lost, nor forgotten their responsibilities as caretakers of this place, as well as for all peoples who reside in their traditional territory.  As guests, we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homeland.  We wish to pay our respects by acknowledging the ancestors and relatives of the Ramaytush Community and affirming their sovereign rights as First Peoples.


    2. General public comment

      Public comment on any issue within BOPEC’s general jurisdiction that is not covered by another item on this agenda.

    3. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings

      Discussion and possible action to approve Minutes for the December 7, 2023 BOPEC Meeting.


    4. Department of Elections Proposed Budget Review

      Discussion and possible action on the Department of Elections’ annual budget, as prepared by the Director of Elections John Arntz. The Elections Commission is required to conduct two reviews of the Department’s budget no less than 15 days apart; this is the first budget review. The full Commission will conduct its second budget review during its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 14.

    5. Adjournment

    Date & Time

    Monday, January 29, 2024
    6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    City Hall

    1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place
    Room 416
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    View location on google maps


    Webinar number: 2661 647 1872
    Webinar password: Budget2024 (28343820 from video systems)

    To access the meeting using the WebEx application, use the following link:
    Join the meeting


    BOPEC (Elections Commission) Special Meeting January 29, 2024

    In this video

    January 29, 2024 BOPEC meeting.


    anuary 29th 2024 special meeting of the budget and

    oversight Committee of the San Francisco elections commission I'm the president Stone I'm the president Robin Stone The

    Time Is Now 6:05 p.m. and I call the meeting to order before we proceed

    further I would like to ask commission secretary Marissa Davis to briefly explain some procedures for participating in today's

    meeting thank you president Stone the minutes of this meeting will reflect that this meeting is being held in

    person at City Hall Room 416 one Dr Carlton B goodlet Place San Francisco

    94102 and Via WebEx as authorized by the elections commission's February 15 2023

    vote members of the public May attend the meeting to observe and provide public comment either at the physical

    meeting location or remotely details and instructions for partici participating remotely are listed on the commission's

    website and on today's meeting agenda public comment will be available

    on each item on this agenda each member of the public will be allowed three minutes to speak six minutes if you are

    on the line with an interpreter when providing public comment you are encouraged to state your name clearly

    once your three minutes have expired staff will thank you and you will be muted please address your comments to

    the entire commission and not to to a specific individual while providing public comment remotely please ensure

    you are in a quiet location when joining by phone you will hear a beep when you are connected to the meeting you will

    automatically be muted and in listening mode only to make public comment dial

    Star three to raise your hand when your item of Interest comes up you will be added to the public comment line and you

    will hear you have raised your hand to ask a question please wait until the host calls on you you the line will be

    silent as you wait your turn to speak if at any time you change your mind and wish to withdraw yourself from the

    public comment line press star three again and you will hear the system say you have lowered your hand when joining

    by WebEx or a web browser make sure the participant side panel is showing by

    clicking on the participants icon at the bottom of the list of attendees is a

    small button or icon that looks like a hand press the hand I ion to raise your hand you will be unmuted when it is time

    for your comment when you are done with your comment click the hand icon again to lower your hand in addition to

    participating in real time interested persons are encouraged to participate in this meeting by submitting public

    comment in writing by 12:00 pm on the day of the meeting to elections. commmission at it will be

    shared with the commission after this meeting is concluded and will be included as part of the official meeting

    file thank you president Stone thank

    you thank you secretary Davis would you please proceed with item one uh boek

    roll call uh president Stone present uh commissioner jonic here vice president

    Parker here those are the three commissions uh

    commissioners who are due at this meeting thank you secretary Davis um I

    will now move to agenda or to the land acknowledgement which commissioner jonic

    has agreed to State thank you U president Stone the

    San Francisco elections commission acknowledges that we are in the unseated ancestral homeland of the Rito shalone

    who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula as the indigenous stewards of this land and in

    accordance with their Traditions the remit to shalone have never seated lost nor forgotten their responsibilities as

    caretakers of this place as well as for All Peoples who reside in their traditional

    territory as guests we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional Homeland we wish toay our

    respects by acknowledging the ancestors and relatives of the ritish community and affirming their sovereignty

    Sovereign rights as First Peoples thank you vice president or excuse me commissioner J iic um for

    reading the land acknowledgement we are now going to move to that closes agenda item n number one we're going to move to

    item number two general public comment public comment on any issue within BC's General jurisdiction that is not covered

    by another item on this

    agenda there are no hands raised great thank you secretary Davis uh that closes

    agenda item number number two and we're actually going to uh foro agenda item number three and uh move the meeting

    minutes to the next opek meeting and go straight to agenda item number four Department of Elections proposed budget

    review discussion and possible action on the Department of Elections annual budget as prepared by the director of

    Elections John Arts the elections commission is required to conduct two reviews of the Department's budget no

    less than 15 days apart this is the first budget review the full commission will conduct conduct its second budget

    review during its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday February 14th um uh with that I will open it up

    to my committee members to uh ask their questions of the

    director or actually excuse me let me hand it over to director ARS first to

    introduce the budget and then we will ask questions thank you president St so

    the department has provided the commission with uh the the actual forms that we'll provide to the mayor's office

    when submitting the budget at the end of February and also a memorandum which provides explanations for the items in

    the forms and explanation of the the basis for the information in our budget

    uh submission uh so in San Francisco the Departments uh develop

    two-year budgets for two fiscal years not just for the upcoming fiscal year so that the next next the 2425 fiscal year

    is by on the forms and then the 2526 fiscal year is

    by1 and for for the next fiscal year by

    fiscal year 2425 the department is putting forward a budget proposal of around $25 million then for by1

    Department's putting a budget proposal of around 23,

    400,000 the mayor's office has requested all departments uh cut or reduce the

    relian on the general fund by a certain amount and that amount for the Department of Elections was

    680,000 for both fiscal years uh the department did find way did find uh

    methods to reduce its Reliance on the general fund for by for the next fiscal

    year of around $588,000 and then for by plus1 I think is around

    $530,000 you'll see on budget form 1B which is the page three of the forms

    that we sent you'll see at the bottom of the the bottom row there there's some text in red that says Target not met and

    that indicates that the the reductions that the department is putting forward

    have it don't meet the the total that the mayor's office put forward for for the Department um then also the

    department the mayor's office asked the Departments to have uh to develop

    contingency reductions of a certain amount for Department of Elections it was

    3 uh $340,000 I believe and we've not put

    together any contingency reductions at this time we're uh and the reason is we're going into the presidential cycle

    which is the the biggest election in the foure cycles of Elections and we're also

    expecting since we're moving the five local contests mayor Sheriff City

    attorney uh district attorney treasurer that all of them uh to the from the odd

    year 2023 to to 20 November 2024 we actually increasing the the the length

    of the ballot then also any any Lo any local measures that would have appeared in that November 2023 election

    likely or could be moved to the November 2024 election so we likely have a lot of

    measures which will affect both the ballot and the voter information pamplet um so

    in in our budgets to it's very consistent and what drives our numbers it's the the numbers and types of

    Elections and the and the the size of the ballots and the length of the voter information pamphlets the Staffing and

    the and all the support services uh and materials and supplies that would be

    associated with with conducting election um are driven by the the ballot and the

    voter guide and and the and the turnout as well and so that's like a quick summary of the of the budget

    uh to start the conversation for tonight in the budget memorandum that we provided we did put some information

    regarding assembly Bill 1416 and uh and it the information

    around ab1 1416 moves around a bit from mentioning five cards six card and seven

    or more cards and that's just trying to get a sense of uh of the cost with with

    ballots um Department expects to have a sixc card ballot going into

    uh for the November 2024 election and uh and we're also trying to get a sense of

    what would happen if we went to bigger than more cars than six uh in

    November and um and to the uh last fiscal year I

    introduced the an ordinance trailing legislation with our budget to opt out of 1416 ongoing basis the board accepted

    that opt out for this current Mar election and then it was to be an election to elction decision whether to

    opt out or not uh the department is not intending to opt out of uh 14 16 for for

    no November at this time um although I think we'll have a conversation about potentially having you know a triggering

    mechanism to opt out if we go beyond six card or seven card ballot now we can talk about that more in during the

    meeting and um so that's that's the summary and I at this point I'm I'll be

    glad to take any questions we can talk more in depth from there so thank you director AR sorry I

    initially almost cut you off there um with your comments um and actually the

    one thing I was just going to mention before I pass it over is didn't the Board of Supervisors with ab1 1416

    wasn't it year by year not election by election for opt out I think it was like

    to review every budget cycle how they had the popped out as it stands maybe I

    thought it was election by election but doesn't yeah either way not ideal to have it be every every so often um okay

    I will pass it over thank you for the comments I'll pass it to uh the

    Commissioners committee members if you want to just I mean we can continue using the structure that we currently

    use um for commission meetings and I will call on

    you commissioner jonic okay thank you

    uh thank you president Stone and thank you director Ern for all the work you put into the budget I know it's a really

    challenging time with all the the um cuts that need to be met so I appreciate

    all the work um you're doing to try to meet that um I also want to just appreciate

    your call out on page three about um having Outreach on rank chice voting

    being a focus for the November ction because it's going to be on several for

    several contests there um I have a few

    questions um I I do have a couple questions around the number of cards and

    ab 14 16 but I'll hold those to the end but um on my first questions are around

    section e so I wanted to thank you for you know including the extra detail that

    the commission um had requested around around the the vendors the contracts the

    department has so one of my questions is um yeah

    last last year's BC meeting IID asked about a little more

    detail on the cost around the translation services and some of the things around

    ballot preparation and you had mentioned some other vendors like inter ethnica and

    topen Merill and are those are those also vendors that the dep the department

    has contracts with no we purchase their services through purchase order I

    see okay and then um so that would cover

    like and also like the mailing and labeling and everything right you said there's also

    prep work for mailing and labeling right um yeah just out of curiosity how does

    that work like how does how do you decide to do like a purchase order versus a a soul Source versus like a

    bidding process with the uh ballots and the and the voter guide in the translations

    which would uh be a part of both the elections code sayate elections code allows departments to uh to foro the

    Contracting if to get those services so in the this is this is how it's been since before I was was even part of the

    department so the the department has has uh under has used purchase orders to

    obtain the services for for ballots for translation and for the voter guide um

    and what what what that does though too is that there's there's there's there's

    no hold up in the process as far as getting those those Services then also provides flexibility if there's a change

    if there needs to be a change in vendors U because we have changed vendors in the past uh based on on Services uh so

    that's why we we've continued to follow the the route of using purchase orders and then do you do a purchase order

    before each election or is it more of a multi-year agreement no it's before each election okay great that's that's

    interesting um and then and then also who does the type

    setting is that also part of the inter ethnica correct okay all right and then

    um so yeah I'll move to the questions about the number of ballot cards and things and just for is independent of

    ab1 1416 um on page seven you say that the six cards would result in torn

    envelopes and um I know I know in the past you've said that six is already

    pushing the envelope you know no pun intended but um are you so are you saying that

    already there's going to like assuming we have six cards there will already be issues or are you having ways of

    reducing that you know the tearing and so six cards is really the the limit to

    our current processes and we can ex we can expand the the width the opening of

    the envelope a bit still retain the letter size

    um uh specs so that would help with with the tearing but just also we know it's

    not it's not really beholden to having six cards even if we had a five card ballot it would be the same just that

    voters when they when they insert the Cards into the envelopes they don't always do so in a nice folded manner but

    they we call them footballs they kind of put all the cards together and then they shove them the envelope um so more cards

    means bigger footballs essentially and it but again it's not specific to a six card ballot it's also the same as a as a

    five even a four card ballot so um so yeah there there will be instances where we have uh potentially voters tearing

    their envelopes and they're trying to insert their cards and that's not necessarily because se6 cards is just

    how the the voters uh prepare the bouts for for reinsertion

    into the OR insertion into the return envelopes okay thank you and then related to that this is a question I've

    had for a while and I may have asked you this in a previous year but um is the

    the thickness of the card stock that the city uses is that um is it like the same

    thickness that other counties use or is it a Statewide mandate or you know do

    any counties use like a thinner paper so each voting system has a paper

    weight that for which that system is approved to use so if you remember with the previous voting system from seoa the

    the card stock was was 110 pound weight with the Dominion system I think it's 90

    or 80 80 or 90 weight and that's really is about as thin

    as you want to go with with the ballot Just based on the bleed through characteristics of of paper so uh but

    even though 90 110 don't seem like there's a much of a difference in the in the thickness there's actually a large

    difference between 90 110 so uh having a thinner card allows for

    u a better ballot product going through the post offices equipment and also

    coming coming back and going through our equipment and also allows uh for the voter to more easily handle the cars to

    insert them into return envelopes okay thank you and then my last questions are

    around a1416 I I also want to thank you for putting in the subsection in there about possible solutions in the case

    that you can't um include the B labels and

    um I I wanted to maybe discuss and I know president Stone has said to the

    commission that she's discussed some of these she's had conversations with you about

    you know different variations but I wanted to just um run a couple

    Suggestions by you um in the case that you can't print the

    ballot labels in the ballot like would would another possibility to be to like

    insert like an 8 and 1 half by 11 like sheet of paper into the envelope that

    includes the information that would have been on the ballot so it wouldn't be a card stock and it wouldn't have to be

    sent back to the department would that be a possibility maybe but there's also the issue of

    adding something else to insert in the envelope and and it seems like even a piece of paper would not be a lot but if

    if we're getting the point where we're we're trying to uh if we if we've maxed

    out on the limit of of our processes and we don't want to I'm not trying to say

    this is a bad I'm just I'm just thinking out loud here but we we we we may not want to put add another insert into the

    envelope okay if if if if thickness is an issue and then another possibility

    which would be kind of um you know less than that would be I

    know you you're saying you could have the language on the bout that would Point people to the voter information guide and one of the problems there is

    that because the guide is so long that information would be spread across you

    know potentially you know one or 200 pages and mixed in with a lot of things and it could be hard for voters to

    locate those you know what is it 250 characters and I'm

    wondering if you would you could have like um like a single page in the VIP

    maybe at the beginning of the section on the ballot measures that would have that information just in one place so voters

    wouldn't have to leave through you know is that something that you've thought about or or um could could would be a

    possibility well the first page in the voter guide is a table of contest that listed page numbers free to measure in the voter information

    pamphlet I I mean the what I mean is um instead of having the the list of

    supporters and opponents the condensed list of supporters and opponents for each measure like in the section on the

    each individual measure you could just have maybe at the beginning of the section on all the measures you could

    have a page that's like this is the information on supporters and opponents

    that would have been listed on the ballot you know so it's it's all in a one one stop location I mean that's

    certainly something we could think about sure okay all right so that that covers my questions thank you president Stone

    thank you commissioner jonic and actually I I had a few things that maybe

    overlapped because I had literally just spoken with the director about that exact uh question um and I wanted to

    walk through some things with ab1 1416 but I'll hand it to commissioner Parker

    first and then I'll kind of walk through some of what um some of what I wanted to share around ab1 1416 and then we can

    also bring that to the commission for the February 14th meeting as well um but

    first I'll hand it to commissioner Parker to see if she had any questions

    or comments before um yes thank you president Stone um I just had a couple

    and um forgive me I know we've talked about some of these in commission meetings I just I didn't have a chance

    chance to go back through my old notes um so you may have said these things because they they are familiar to me um

    before uh one was this is a contextual question um I uh and before I say that I

    I actually really appreciate the memo I thought it was very easy to follow and and read like it was it was a lot of

    great context here but with the um when when we moved the Citywide officer

    elections to the presidentials um as opposed to those odd years where they have been in the past

    [Music] um my uh recollection is that part of

    that intent was to save total costs by moving them off of the um odd years and

    there is so much in this document about um you know the added cost with longer

    ballots and things like that did it I'm sure there was a controller analysis when we had that on the ballot um I just

    don't remember what it was is there a difference a savings and cost having moved to not having that city-wide

    election separate overall yeah there's we're not uh we're not recruiting pole

    workers we're not uh obtaining polling places uh it's one less election where

    we have to bring in the Temporaries needed Personnel to provide support for the election uh

    so so yes overall there would be a cost there would be a cost savings for the City by having the odear elections

    Consolidated with evene election okay um just I know there's nothing to do about it I was just trying to make

    sure I um recalled what um correctly what was the situation

    um and also I recall a conversation in one of our meetings about when we get to the um the higher number of cards on a

    particular election that there were issues also with the machines and so can you remind me like at what card limit

    was that were we going to have real issues with the machines so if we go over six cards

    that's that's really where everything changes in some degree uh around the ballot production

    ballot assembly uh ballot packaging ballot shipping uh ballot processing

    both of USPS equipment our equipment then also the time and for us to to to

    handle those cards and and to scan them in the in the tabulators uh six cards uh we can accommodate in the

    current process and that's really the the max with the current process uh

    there it is a thicker packet going through machines uh so it will be likely

    a bit slower with a bit more jams but uh and also the weight of a six card ballot

    likely will be a not a letter a letter size weight but a a flat

    weight but but we think the even even though the the the weight will cause

    charges for postage related to mailing Flats the size of the packet would be

    for letter size so we there wouldn't be a change as far as the the packaging of

    those envelopes when they're printed and assembled at at the at the ballot printer then they can also still move

    through the post office equipment and our equipment as well um right I I recall reading all of

    those in there um so but we wouldn't if we went over six cards our machines wouldn't be able to process them no I

    probably we'd probably have to do manual processing okay at that point that's what I was curious about if we actually

    got that long um in an upcoming election um okay and then

    um I was also um trying on this ab1 1416

    question um trying to recall from our last conversation about this whether there was any indication that the Board

    of Supervisors would want to out opt out of that for November are they um just

    you I appreciate also all the solutions that you have here and and all of the detail going into this but um do you

    have any any sense what will happen actually no okay there's no indication

    you have okay I mean at this point we're opted in that's was the board's decision last year so okay um all right great um

    let's see um I noticed a couple of possible typos or Mis labelings should I

    just send those to you separately by email yeah yeah okay um great um let me

    see oh and then this is just a clarifying and I actually I did not write down which page this was on but it

    was just um it was an acronym that I was not familiar with but I was just trying to find it because I don't remember um

    times e Ms PEX and teex I also so PX means permanent exempt okay Personnel

    Employee and then teex means temporary exempt great and so temporary exempt are

    the as needed Personnel then the permanent exempt are usually that means that they're Project based so they're

    they have a three-year uh funding schedule within the the city's budgeting

    process yeah okay great all right that's that was what I was wondering and those were the main questions I had um that

    were not already brought up thank you vice president Parker

    um I will talk through some of the ab1 1416 so you both may have some

    additional questions or comments about that since we're uh we've talked a fair

    amount about the uh number of cards and the Board of Supervisors uh but first I

    just want to make a couple of comments which is to say thank you director Arns for putting this together and providing

    such a detailed memo for the commission to and the public to understand um um I

    know there are significant budget concerns from uh for our city but with

    the enormous transition to even years um even knowing how many even without ab1

    1416 going to more ballot cards is an enormous expense um and that is not

    something we can just say opt in or opt out we have to comply with the change to even years so I know it's a big expense

    and uh appreciate all the efforts to to explain to the public and the commission

    why uh the budget is written the way it is I also um wanted to say thank you for

    I think uh commissioner jonik also spoke to this but about the Outreach and voter

    registration components as well which is the a priority of the commission and ensuring that that is reflected in the

    budget is important so appreciate that a lot um and then as it pertains to ab1

    1416 so this has been and this is actually kind of newer information for

    folks I don't know if we have anyone listening in um but at least for the committee um and anyone who chooses to

    listen to this uh ahead of the commission meeting on the 14th director

    ARs and I have been going back and forth for quite a while about ab1 1416 um knowing that this was uh

    something I don't know if it's heat or air it's very very very loud um let's hope it's not heat but um hopefully

    everyone I'll just speak a little louder um but this has been a of concern for

    some Advocates um as well as the commission I believe we pretty much I

    don't know unanimous but I would say General consent the commission had fair

    amount of support to opt into ab1 1416 however there are pretty dramatic

    implications for running for administering our elections uh knowing that we are moved

    to even years for all of the local offices that the uh director spoke to

    and so uh actually the uh director was

    particularly kind to call out the six card ballot even though Five Card ballots is kind of already exceeding

    five would be pushing the limit quite a bit um but uh agree in to the optin

    unless specified with the exception of um

    exceeding a six card ballot is actually something that I very much appreciate from the director um because the way

    that I describe moving to seven card ballot would actually be kind of catastrophic for the Department's

    operations and so um really where we landed in terms of the agreement around this is looking backwards at when the

    department might know that they would potentially be coming close to even a seven card ballot because if they are or

    if they're on a sixc card ballot and knowing how much the opponents and proponents could potentially add to the

    length of the or add yeah add to the length of the ballot um that would

    immediately move to a seven card ballot and so we actually in uh at the end of

    last year worked through kind of the timeline of when things would come from the state um and local goal uh in terms

    of working backward before the uh November election and where we landed is

    that um between e88 and e70 the director could notify the commission about the

    number of cards um and the reason for this actually let me take a step back so

    the director in his um in the budget in the budget memo on page eight I want to

    speak to what I'm actually talking about on page eight says in the last paragraph of

    possible solutions it says another solution to to decreasing the length of the number November five ballot without

    jeopardizing language act access would be for the Board of Supervisors to opt out of 1416 for this ele election remain

    opted in contingent on that decision not adding an additional ballot card the contingent opt in could also include a

    provision that the department would add a short instruction regarding where the the measure of list opponents and proponents in the voter information

    pamphlet so I just I what I'm actually getting at is um that the uh that the

    this this solution I'd like to kind of expand on a little bit so the idea being that so long as we don't reach a seven

    card ballot we're opted in but let's say we are reaching a seven card ballot uh

    it would not we would actually have needed to have made the decision for how to budget for that through some sort of

    legislation to opt out of ab1 1416 well in advance um is that June junly June

    July well the budget hearings are the mid June yeah right right so June um so

    basically the Board of Supervisors would have to pass something in June in order for us to make that decision so in order

    for us to continue to opt in without the risk of of having to without the risk of

    the impacts on legislation the director and I had talked about what would happen with concern of moving to a s card

    ballot notwithstanding all the other considerations and the idea was opting

    in with this contingency so the contingency we would know sometime

    around e88 or e70 is when uh what

    exactly are you do you receive from the state it's the what is it at that date

    let me go back the trans well the translation of the measures usually what would push you over yeah so that that's

    early August the director said that by August 21st he could notify the

    commission that we're inching toward a seven card ballot and therefore would need to opt out um and the reason so

    basically it leaves time between when he would know the uh the additional length

    from the translation of the measures um before they would actually have to like

    print the ballots uh or or kind of lay out the ballots and print them which I I

    think you said happened September 20 first sometime after the commission's

    next regular meeting in September so the idea being that the director could

    potentially let the commission know in August we are inching toward this

    measure of seven cards or exceeding six cards and therefore we want to opt out

    so that we don't reach this catastrophic point the commission could then decide to hold a special meeting to give the

    public an opportunity to weigh in to ask questions if they choose or just accept that and um and then the uh and then the

    director would move forward with the six card ballot so let me just recap that because I didn't do a the best job kind

    of walking through that from a timeline persp perspective so rather than us as a city opting out of ab1 1416 we'd

    continue to automatically opt in with the caveat of a contingency planning should we be reaching the uh reaching a

    seven card ballot if we are reaching a seven card ballot the director would have the authority to potentially

    trigger an opt out at around between e88 and e70 so around August 21st but would

    first notify the commission that he would have to trigger the opt out thereby giving the public and the

    commission the opportunity to weigh in ask questions and make sure that the director did everything possible to um

    to accommodate ab1 1416 so we would know with time to weigh in before the actual

    layout and printing would take place I hope that recap helped I feel like I I didn't um explain it as well at the

    beginning um and then the other thing I wanted to call out that uh the director and I had spoken about

    was the font size for the proponents and opponents uh because the state the ab1

    1416 doeses allow for that for the proponents and opponents to be at a

    smaller font size than the rest of the um text on the ballots and it's from my

    understanding uh another jurisdiction has did do some sort of mockup of that

    and it I've heard that it was kind of mixed um though I haven't yet seen it with my own eyes um and so that is

    something that um the director and I have spoken about that could be explored

    as a possible alternative but certainly not ideal and also may not add that much

    um a may have some accessibility considerations of itself and B may not

    actually save that much space ultimately the idea being let's do our absolute

    best to stay opted in but we're not going to you know create a catastrophe for the

    Department uh by inching them toward a seven card ballot so I think that was it

    um I think that was it but I really want to say I appreciate the department the

    director and the Department's efforts to accommodate ab1 1416 not knowing that

    six card ballots a six card ballot is already pretty enormous um and so uh I

    think it's a a show of good faith in attempt to accommodate it notwithstanding and hopefully we can do

    it but worst case um that perhaps the next um the next round yep uh vice

    president Parker um this is um is actually this is just

    reminding me you know the the early part of the possible solutions um section here talked about um transitioning from

    the possibility of transition from bilingual to monolingual um ballot format um and I can totally appreciate

    the challenges that of folks who might want to cross reference as you mentioned um in the memo and I'm wondering is that

    something worth doing some kind of a mockup or test or something with um you know with a focus group just to see

    whether that feels like an option to put out there uh we could

    but thinking a bit more about this too if we were to move to a modern lingual from bilingual ballot would have to do

    Outreach and that would be more cost you know so then so I'm wondering how much savings

    would there be really to to make that then even if you do the Outreach people you're not going to contact everyone uh

    potentially who's going to you know pay attention but yeah we can put it out there La uses monolingual ballots and

    they because they've got like I think 19 languages and so they they issue monolingual ballots and I don't know how they they handle that if they put the

    like a English reference in the envelope or not or at the polling places we can we can

    look into it more though do you know if um when how long they've been doing the monolingual

    ballots no I would no I don't know I would think it's since they had their

    new voting system because they had essentially had a punch card system before

    that okay because well why I'm asking and wondering is if there was a um if there

    were data to look at you know um in participation rates on the pre monolingual and post monolingual to see

    if that impacted it at all but if they were completely different voting systems that might be too many variables to to

    have useful data so that's why I was wondering yeah we can check oh sorry no

    no fine uh I was just going to just mention one thing um commissioner janic

    if you don't mind actually I have two things I wanted to mention one is I could try and dig up

    where that mockup it may have been in Contra Costa or something uh of the like

    I think it's eight point font for the proponents and opponents which is pretty small um and my understanding is it it

    wasn't that great so if it's helpful um in the conversation with the Commission

    in February I can also try and dig that up and the other comment I was I just need I meant to bring up uh commissioner

    jordon's comments about the kind of table of contents idea because I did Broach that with the um director as well

    um the only thing I would mention is just the length of the voter information

    pamphlet which is already like a conversation that I think that we should

    acknowledge uh before we leave today just how long that is um but I don't I

    actually think it's a good idea to discuss um potentially having it as a cheat sheet of of some kind with the uh

    proponents listing the proponents and opponents but I do know that there are other areas in the voter information pamphlet where that exists so um yeah

    commissioner jonik okay thank you um president Stone and

    um vice president Parker for the the additional thoughts on ab4

    1416 um I I want before I talk about the ab14 16 a little bit more I wanted to

    just respond a little bit vice president Parker to your comment about the the consolidation of Elections because I

    think the subtext of what you're saying is that um you know the department is being

    asked to cut 10% of their budget and really that consolidation should be

    counting towards that but correct me if I'm wrong director they're they're wanting 10% on top of assuming the

    consolidation is that correct they're not taking into account the savings

    in the consolidation correct and the mayor's office I would say is looking at

    current expenses they're not looking at past expenses that are factored into today's reductions or decreased

    operating cost so they're not viewing it that way yeah so even if you save all this money in the past you're just asked

    to do more in the following years so on the ab1 1416 um just a

    couple different comments like number one I think it might be a good research project that someone could do in the

    spring would be to maybe look at some of the Bay Area Counties and see you know

    which Counties have opted in and how many um and what those belts look like and then um just to kind of get a

    comparison of layouts and things um I think the monolingual ballot I think um

    you know just in hearing vice president Parker talk about it I think it would be good to like do our due diligence and

    just at least have the discussion you know even if it's some something that the city doesn't wind up doing but

    director do you have a sense of um like what percent savings a monolingual ballot

    would have would it be like you know 75% of the length or have you done any

    analysis on that ballpark no but you're essentially with the Chinese English

    ballot you're cutting the content in half Spanish English a little bit more than half then Filipino English um

    probably 60% yeah so if you're going down from a six card to a four card or three card

    that could you know potentially give you a lot of options for other stuff too you

    know increased education and things but um let's see so um president

    Stone just to clarify one thing I I like your proposed process the I think that's

    a really good idea to kind of avoid the catastrophe and just to clarify ify that

    process that you described would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors so would that be like an ordinance that

    would go before the board yes I know that the that director AR has already talked to the or is the DCA are in the

    process of exploring what would be required to do something like that yeah great yeah that sounds like a good idea and it would give the um be a little bit

    more of a Nimble process he wouldn't have to go to the board as the election approaches and then my last um question

    is round the ballot layout um Dr Terence I know I think in the past you you tend

    to organize the ballots have in like sections right you'll have like the state candidates and then um you know

    local candidates and then local measures and state measures do you try to keep the different categories on different

    ballots or I'm wondering if there's any if you might have white space at like the bottom of the candidate section

    could you use some of that you know put start putting the measures there or do

    you have do you like to divide things up you know what I mean so that you don't if you have a lot of weight space

    on a ballot card you could use that real estate to help um you know reduce the

    number of cards yeah it's really hard to answer that question because you you have to just depends on the content that

    needs to go onto the cards but I can't say the best practice is not to break up

    contested measures it as little as possible so you

    know you don't want to have three pages of local measures if you could have got it on two pages even if you're mixing

    candidates and measures on on a card you mean or yeah I mean we have done in the past but that's that's not a best

    practice and and you can't you can't split a contest on different pages so if

    you know so so yeah whites there might be white that's why you'll see white

    space in the ballots but then it's also what is the best approach to Ure the

    voters see the content that's on the ballot you don't want them turning pages and there's measures on three different

    pages when you could have had on two so it just depends I mean it's hard it's hard to give a hard hard fat a complete

    answer now on okay yeah I guess what as you you know as you do your calculations

    to see if you can accommodate maybe for 1416 I you know I'm assuming you would

    you would look at all those you know decision points and in terms of variations right I mean

    the department intends printing the proponent opponents and the local measures for November uh so the purpose

    is to to print them and so if if it's basically I wouldn't say impossible but

    if if it if it's not feasible or if it's just obvious that we can't even stay within that sixc car limit then that's

    when we would seek the opt out okay great all right thank you thanks I was just going to make one

    quick quick comment and then I'll call or actually two comments um the only question in there actually in response

    to commissioner jonic um the only consideration I have about

    exploring other counties is I just wonder if there are any other counties that have nearly the amount of local

    ballot measures that we have just like I think a seven card ballot is pretty unprecedented or a sixc card ballot even

    but I'd be curious I mean I wonder I don't know where La stands um so I'd be

    I'd be curious know about that and then I did want to respond to the moving to a

    monolingual ballot which I would think is I would probably not support that

    because I think you're basically exchanging language access for potential

    ballot education and at with San Francisco having the largest population

    of Chinese speaking uh folks outside of China I think it would be a huge mistake

    to move outside side of to not provide language access in directly on the on

    the ballot so um I probably would would not support that approach to moving to

    monolingual I just wanted to add that could I add to that please so uh in I

    think mid 90s the city was under consent decree with the doj regarding language

    access for Chinese language access and that consent decree required that the

    ballots be bilingual include English and Chinese uh so even though that and then the city for decades I think really we

    had we had to meet with the Department of Justice before every election and go over our our language assistant programs

    and Outreach and really it's only been like last 10 years that we haven't done that uh and and so even though the the

    consent degree had had had its it time frame it's had had expired

    we were still really we're still beholden to the the tenants of that consent decree as we met with doj and

    had to prove that we were still supporting the the tenants of that consent decree so moving to a

    monolingual ballot I think would would go against the spirit of that consent decree so thank you for adding the

    context um vice president Parker uh yeah that's that seems that

    seems like a a really important um piece of context so thank you for that um I um

    actually I wanted to go to the length of the voter information pamphlet for a second what what it's making me think

    about is um wondering if you have any updates on

    the optins to the um electronic um voter

    information P pamplets have we it's on our I haven't looked it's on our website okay um it's I mean certainly it would

    still to be printed no matter what um right um but it it it also is just

    making me think oh if there's some ways that we could possibly get more folks even aware that that option exists that

    that would be good thing of course marketing costs money and you know it's all a trade-off um but uh that's one

    thing um that that the length when I see these um the page counts if measure H

    had been in place um wow um that's that's Hefty and I know you address all

    of what the increased costs would be below that but uh that is a very sizable ballot um I mean very sizable voter

    information pamplet um so anyway just wondering if there's any other

    Creative Solutions to address that I mean I'm just imagining if I received that in my mailbox um I'd

    probably use it as a door stop I mean would I read it I don't know it's like that's that is um that's really

    large yeah I mean the um thank you vice president Parker the

    midterm uh voter information pamphlet was 300 Pages what was it 280 290 oh I

    remember kind of R together a bit but our biggest book I think was close to 350 yeah

    well I I imagine it will be very enormous I personally love them I

    collect them I love them so and I annotate as well um but to each their

    own some people will move to tablets to read books and I'll always hold a

    physical copy um and any other

    comments yes vice president Parker sorry um actually this is just

    one more sort of technical question um and then I don't think that I have others and that is obviously um you know

    as you noted we didn't meet the target requested by the mayor's office and so what are the ramifications of that like

    what do we expect them they say okay I mean I think it's a very compelling memo and um mission that we we h i mean

    what's we have to deliver on the election in the way that you've laid out and there's a lot of cost saving that's

    already been done looking at the prop J stuff like there's there's a lot there and so will they say thank you for

    trying we'll look elsewhere or what will happen well conversations continue uh I

    think I appreciate those comments U vice president Parker and I think the

    department has done a commendable job in in finding reductions of its general fund support the next two fiscal years

    especially for this upcoming fiscal year based on the election we're all about to enter once we get through the the March

    election so I think it would be would it' be very challenging for for us to find um greater decreases in our

    Reliance on the general fund uh for this upcoming fiscal year for sure um but you know we'll see I you know I

    don't I don't we'll see what the what happens as far as those conversations are concerned but but I agree yeah we've got we've got a big project coming up

    and that project has to be funded and it's really mandated by the law that it be funded so um and that's you know we

    but we'll see what the mayor's office has to say you thank you vice president Parker

    commissioner jonic yeah thank you president Stone so just to clarify um

    there so there won't be any trailing legislation affecting the department when the budget is submitted correct

    okay thank you I had one last question which is kind of a silly one but on page 11 of

    the memo you talk about the breakdown of non-personnel services and it says membership fees for attendance of

    workshops and that actually seemed quite low to me um knowing you know what's out

    there in terms of access and opportunities for the Department to I

    don't know exchange ideas or get best practices um is that I mean would the is

    the department trying to like keep costs low I mean it seems pretty marginal or would you be wanting to have a higher

    amount of access to be able to attend workshops or participate in um uh other

    networks and organizations so that's mostly for uh

    Personnel Department to uh join the California Association of election

    officials and clerks whatever it is and uh so that's the fees for for for that

    group and then the professional staff development would have been the area that we would have pulled for uh any

    sort of cost beyond that and the the caco and the Secretary of State's office

    they they do provide election related uh trainings and events that that we can attend and there are events that would

    just require traveling expenses if we wanted to attend so we don't need a

    large budget for that and uh with November upcoming we probably wouldn't be going to a lot anyway uh between

    March and November but then afterwards uh potentially I think that's when we

    want to have greater funding for people to attend workshops and and then Network

    and things like that okay yeah it just it seemed very very low uh for folks to

    be able to participate um okay thank you anything

    else great thank you Commissioners for a

    discussion let's move to public

    comment okay we do have um a two public

    commenters our first one is is um just a phone number

    and let me can you hear


    hello let's go to the next um color Brent Turner do you have a


    hello if you can hear me I can't um get a response but if you can I'll just

    continue that um I think it's obvious that the

    budget issue would be assisted uh the

    shortness of our budget would be helped if we did not continue to resist a

    transition toward better technology specifically the open-source

    systems that are now available and have been attempted to be gifted to the

    county as well as attempted to be brought forward to the county at a much

    reduced price um from our current systems we have resisted and director

    arnst has resisted this for many years and now it is eventuating in the cost

    issue um we could have saved millions of dollars thus far and can save millions

    of dollars moving forward uh if we transition to the

    more secure available technology the open source which is also about

    50% of the cost of the current systems that we continue to purchase so this is

    why we've continued to ask for that transition to occur

    unfortunately I think due to business interests that are obvious there has

    been a resistance to the better open- Source system now we see New Hampshire and other

    states moving forward with the work done in San Francisco and this is unfortunate

    that the Secretary of State's office and the director of Elections haven't been

    able to figure this out fortunately there is a group voting works that is

    available to explain the direction to not only the director but to the

    secretary and I hope that that occurs so that not only we heighten our security

    but we make sure we're taking advantage of those cost savings thank

    you Commissioners can you hear

    me my name is David Schmidt I'm the San Francisco coordinator of the California

    clean money campaign we sponsored ab1 1416 a very important bill to ensure

    that every voter knows the supporters and opponents of ballot measures when they vote even if they

    can't read the whole voter guide so we were disappointed that the supervisors voted to opt out uh for the current

    budget year we are relieved that they are opting in for

    November we commissioned a poll that found that although 79 % of California's

    likely voters said it's important to them to know who supports and opposes ballot measures when they vote only 21%

    said they were confident that they know who these supporters and opponents are

    when they vote and 22% of Voters said they didn't even know they could find

    the supporters and opponents in the voter guide or where to find them in

    it and it's quite a long um booklet so that's why it's so important that AP1

    1416 adds a short list of supporters and opponents from the ballot arguments to

    the ballot itself it was carefully designed with feedback from different regist of Voters throughout the state it

    only requires a maximum of 125 characters each for

    supporters and opponents so that's 250 Max it's three little lines

    um it was supported by uh also our state

    legislators all three state legislators including um San Francisco City attorney

    and then State Assembly member David Chu supported by a long list of good government and activist groups including

    the legal Women Voters of common of California common cause kerg indivisible

    public citizen many others it's really important we'd like to say

    that San Francisco should opt in every time every election and uh it's

    important because voters need to know who supports and who opposes each proposition which often uh hundreds of

    millions of dollars of City spending hinge on these propositions so we believe that uh we

    should opt in every election and as far as making it work

    where there's a will there's a way thank you very much this is David Schmidt for

    the California queen money


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