Elections Commission Regular March Meeting (Rescheduled)

Thursday, March 28, 2024

In this page:


    This rescheduled March meeting will be held in Room 408.

    Meeting video and transcript below.


    1. Call to Order & Roll Call

      A member of the Commission will state the following (from the adopted 10/19/22 Elections Commission 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 the Elections Commission’s general jurisdiction that is not covered by another item on this agenda.

    3. Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

      Discussion and possible action on previous Elections Commission meeting minutes.

    4. Director's Report

      Discussion and possible action regarding the March 2024 Director’s Report.

    5. Commissioners' Report

      Discussion and possible action on Commissioners’ reports for topics not covered by another item on this agenda: Meetings with public officials; oversight and observation activities; long-range planning for Commission activities and areas of study; proposed legislation which affects elections; others.

    6. Agenda Items for Future Meetings

      Discussion and possible action regarding items for future agendas.

    7. Adjournment

      There will be an opportunity for public comment on each agenda item.

    Date & Time

    Thursday, March 28, 2024
    6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    City Hall, Room 408

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


    Webinar number (access code): 2660 991 7292
    Webinar password: rkKKkH8RY74 (75555487 from video systems)
    Join the meeting

    March Regular SF Elections Commission Meeting

    In this video

    March regular monthly SF Elections meeting Meeting Agenda: 

    1. Call to Order & Roll Call :32 

    2. General Public Comment 05:36 

    3. Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes 08:06 

    4. Director’s Report 10:00 

    5. Commissioners’ Reports 37:27 

    6. Agenda Items for Future Meetings 

    7. Adjournment 

    PLEASE NOTE: At the end of the meeting there was a City Hall "Emergency Maintenance" notice and the system was shut down. The official notice provided via a ticket notice by DT Communications) will be added to the official minutes to verify the audio/visual issue at the end of the meeting. 1:38:45


    hello perfect okay welcome everyone to  the March 28th 2024 regular meeting of  

    the San Francisco elections commission I'm the  president Robin Stone the time is now 6:01 p.m  

    and I call the meeting to order before  we proceed further I would like to ask   commission secretary Marisa Davis to briefly  explain some procedures for participating in  

    today's meeting welcome everyone um thank you  president Stone the minutes of this meeting  

    will reflect that this meeting is being held in  person at City Hall Room 408 one Dr Carlton be  

    goodlet Place San Francisco 94102 and remotely  via X as authorized by the election 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 oh Marisa I don't think you  

    are heard you can be heard is your microphone  on I can oh you can hear yep okay uh um let me

    ask let's proceed okay 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 direct  

    your comments to the entire commission and not to  a specific commissioner when joining by phone you  

    will hear a beep when you are connected to the  meeting you will be automatically 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 you will hear you have raised your  

    hand to ask a question please wait until the  host calls on 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 star3 again  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  

    at the bottom of the list of attendees is a  small button or icon that looks like a hand  

    press the hand icon to raise your hand you will  be unmuted when it is time for you to comment  

    when you are done with your comment please 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  noon on the day of the meeting to elections.  

    commmission sfgov.org it will be shared with the  commission after this meeting has concluded and  

    will be included as part of the official meeting  file thank you president Stone thank you secretary  

    Davis will you please proceed with item one  commission roll call President Stone pres vice  

    president Parker here commissioner burn holes  here commissioner D here commissioner loli here  

    commissioner Wong present with six members  present and accounted for you have a forum  

    wonderful thank you I will State the uh the land  acknowledgement resolution adopted or the land  

    acknowledgement is adopted in the 10922 elections  commission resolution the San Francisco elections  

    commission acknowledges that weal homeland of  Theo shalone who are the original inhabitants  

    of the San Francisco Peninsula as the indigenous  stewards of this land in accordance with their   Traditions the amalon have never seated lost nor  forgotten the responsib abilities 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 Theos community  

    and affirming their Sovereign rights as First  Peoples Let's now move to agenda item number  

    two general public comment public comment and any  issue within the elections commission's General  

    jurisdiction that is not covered by another item  on this agenda I you will have three minutes to  

    speak and secretary Davis when you're ready um  will you just let the public commenter know no

    problem just bear with us for one


    sure microphone is on try now how's that you can  also lift it up to be closer thank you we'll make  

    sure you get your full I'll keep an eye and  give you extra time okay perfect thank you   so much um hi my name is Jen nosikov um before  I get into my comment I just wanted to say um  

    thank you for all the work that you do for the  elections um in I'm a candidate for district one   supervisor um and I've had a really good exper  experience with the Department of Elections in  

    general outside of the um comment that I'm about  to make here and I wanted to say that first and   foremost uh my name is Jen nosikov and I'm a  current candidate for supervisor in District  

    1 I'm here tonight to discuss a concern regarding  the recent change to the policy on the candidates  

    use of Chinese names last July when I filed to  run for supervisor I was given the Chinese name  

    GA suan by a member of our Chinese Community  this name has significantly helped me connect  

    with the Chinese speaking voters and has been  a key part of my campaign since the beginning  

    I was following a wellestablished practice for  non-chinese candidates in San Francisco despite  

    there being no guidance from the Department of  Elections on this matter however the rule change  

    mid campaign to require candidates to have used  their Chinese names for at least two years has  

    put this practice in Jeopardy and it directly  affects my ability to communicate effectively   with voters who know me by this name on top of  that replacing window signs and other campaign  

    materials at this stage would not only be cost  prohibitive but timec consuming resources I as  

    a firsttime candidate am stretched thin on I'm  asking for my Chinese name to be grandfathered  

    in given that I adopted it based on the rules and  practices in place before the recent changes this  

    request isn't just about my campaign I believe  it's about fairness for all candidates in the   election process and respecting the connections  I've already made within our community allowing  

    the continued use of my Chinese name on  the ballot aligns with our City's values   of diversity and inclusion and and recognizes  the Practical challenges of such unexpected  

    rule changes it's crucial for ensuring that  our electoral process remains free and fair  

    and accessible to all candidates and voters alike  thank you for your time and consideration thank

    you secretary Davis are there  any public commenters on the


    wonderful Let's uh close out agenda item  number two and move to agenda item number  

    three approval of previous previous meeting  minutes discussion and possible action on  

    previous elections commission meeting minutes  namely the February uh regular commission meeting  

    it will open up for uh for commission discussion  I think the timer is on I think the timer's on  

    it's okay it's going to go on a second just so  commissioner D yeah I didn't have many I didn't  

    have really any substantive comments except um  on item number four under director's report I  

    think for the benefit of the public uh it'd be  helpful to provide a description of resolution

    regarding the use of Chinese character  based names or something like that that's it that's it wow um would you  recommend that so you want the context of that  

    we could also potentially hyperlink to the the  um anything to make it easier to understand yeah

    cool thank you commissioner D anyone

    else okay let's move to public comment on agenda  

    item number three the approval of the  previous meeting minutes from February 14th thank you secret thank you secretary Davis  let move to agenda item number four the director's  

    report discussion and possible action regarding  the director's report and I will hand it over to  

    director ARS thank you president Stone uh so this  report's not specific to the election uh there is  

    election information so I won't I'll wait till  next uh month's meeting before I go into all  

    that uh there is information here about the city  moving to a new uh content editor for the website  

    so all that we've gone through More's coming uh  so we don't we we've not seen this ourselves I we  

    don't have any information Beyond this bit that's  in my report regarding the the new content editor  

    um so we'll have to take lessons on that as well  it'll affect the commission's website then also   attached to my report are the um is a slideshow  that we received from Department of equity racial  

    equity and so if the commission uh wants to  provide information into the department in May  

    I forget the May 13th I think uh to include an our  equ report then we'll send that information to me  

    then we can include it and we'll we'll submit it  um other than that I can take any questions on my

    report thank you director erns open it up to

    Commissioners vice president Parker um thank you  always for your report and um congratulations on  

    the election I know we'll we'll be uh officially  certifying next time but congratulations on that  

    I have a few things so maybe I'll just do a few  and see if other people have other things to   mention um and I think knowing what is in some of  the commission reports we'll probably talk about  

    some of what I was going to say so I'll probably  not spend too much time on that but I did really   like the improvements um to the reporting site  um I really liked the bar um the visually was  

    showing how how many ballots were left to count  in the different types um and of a question again   I'll leave for the commissioner reports later um I  like the jump to the different sections and things  

    like that that were great um and I generally found  the the landing page to be really easy to navigate  

    um and I also let's see I'll go through a couple  more of these um this was not in your report but I  

    also wanted to just mention and note in case other  Commissioners hadn't seen this um on Twitter I I  

    really liked the um the mythbuster Monday content  that you all did on Twitter to try to um you know  

    increase public understanding of things like  the voting machines and the systems and software   provisional ballot counting and things like that  so um just wanted to acknowledge that but I also  

    noticed there was like little to no engagement  with those posts and so I wondered um if you all  

    have thought about Partnerships with other City  agencies to retweet those or um you know just  

    other ways to get that content out there because  I think it's really great you know for dispelling   some myths obviously because that's the hashtag  you all use for that um you know or perhaps  

    even providing like a general content calendar to  other agencies who might be willing to help share  

    that information for public education um and then  maybe I'll do one more comment and then pause and  

    see if you have um anything to say um I wondered  um on the section related to um you'll be shocked  

    that I'm I'm mentioning the high school School  Ambassador um section I wonder if there's any  

    capacity to highlight the high school Ambassador  plans and success on social um during the next  

    um High School voter education week um through  those Ambassador programs maybe not tagging them  

    because I know there might be we don't NE maybe  necessarily want to um tag high school students   in that way um on social media um but some way  to perhaps celebrate the Civic engagement and  

    Leadership of young folks who are trying to  increase um election participation so and I'll   pause I have a couple other things I will I have  to ask and bring up but I'll let others have a  

    chance or see if you have anything uh we know  we've not thought about partnering with other  

    agencies about the myth buster Monday content we  can consider that and we can also consider uh uh  

    providing more prominence to the ambassador  program as well on social media so thank

    you I I can pause on do you want me to I mean I  can keep going but I don't want to monopolize time  

    here um okay uh let's see I also um had noticed  uh well actually I'll ask this question then I'll  

    do the things that are not directly related to  your report but um are tangential um with the  

    Outreach events um you've talked about these in  the past are they mostly initiated that were in  

    your report are they mostly initiated by Partners  or by the department because you've talked talked   in the past about how you all go wherever you  are invited to come um and I noticed in this  

    that it looks like you generally spent more  time in the districts that have General lower   voter registration and turnout and I wondered if  that was intentional on your part or if that was  

    ORS reaching out to you for those Outreach events  that was intentional on our part okay awesome okay  

    great and then um the couple like tangential um I  notice that the secretary of state has scheduled  

    the next California Student mock election for  October 8 um in 2024 to encourage students to  

    become active voters once they're old enough  and it looked like that was something that's   coordinated um via schools as opposed to through  the department and so I wondered now that you  

    have some more um Communications with sfusd  um I wondered if there's a way the department  

    can help make them aware of this opportunity  to get Young Folks engaged more in um in the  

    election and participating in that mock election  it looked like you know and sharing at least by   kind of the back to school time um the schools  have to register by September 16th so it's not  

    that far before the actual mock election happens  but I just wanted to lift that idea if you all  

    hadn't considered that before um and then the  last question I had is um I was recently asked  

    why our ballot counting um slows down so much  after the first you know several days after  

    the election happens um and I wondered if if  you could provide an explanation just so folks  

    are aware I have my theories on why that is but  it would be great to hear from you and and also  

    ifate that information with all of the other  kind of you know you have the great page on  

    what the reporting schedule is like but maybe  so people don't move into conspiracy theory   land you know on why it slows down so much and  so and that's it for me do you do you mind if  

    I jump in quickly because I think that thank you  vice president perker I think we should also talk  

    about that in the context of results reporting  okay um so we can talk about it now but we I  

    think let's also make sure we bookmark it for the  that conversation as well if you don't mind yeah  

    sorry am I on pause on this play play so the we  do provide explanation in the press releases that  

    we issue about the status of the accounting and  as we go is once we get through the initial uh  

    batch is of vote by mail ballots we have to do  more manual review of the ballots and so it's  

    just a slower process and then the second week is  usually the provisional ballots which all require  

    manual review and processing and then a lot of  times when people vote provisionally they go   to the wrong polling place so we have to remake  those ballots so we have to make physically re  

    re uh insert the intent of the voters in into the  program using the correct ballot types and that's  

    done manually so just because we can't just run  the ballot through a scanner and then upload and   then report so that's that's the reason for the  the the slower Pace after the the initial four

    days um just quick follow-up question are we  also um because you have such a a ramp up in  

    in Staffing also right around the election does  that have anything to do with it also as we get   further away or is it same number of Staff it's  just literally just the manual um the manual  

    work that's involved with counting those final  ballots do we have fewer staff who are involved   depends on what time frame you you have in mind  if it's if it's the the second week then no the  

    Staffing is not an issue okay and then really  even the the first week is not an issue it's   just the we don't report on Wednesdays because we  stop processing ballots on Monday and that allows  

    us to send out lists of Voters who voted to the  polling places because in California if someone  

    shows up at a polling place without their vote  by mail ballot and and we can communicate to the  

    poll workers that the vote has not been cast those  voters can vote a regular ballot not a provisional   ballot and so that's why we stop processing on  Monday but that means that there's no re no re  

    uh results to report on Wednesday so we have  to pick it back up again on on Wednesday and   that's why there's there's a lag there but once  we pick up on Wednesday you'll see that the the  

    totals increase pretty much through Saturday and  then it slows down again they were doing the man   reviews thank you I was also just going to add  as it pertains to the provisional ballots I mean  

    based on the what you put in your director's  reports the director's report it's also pretty  

    remarkable how many like not La how many B  provisional ballots were not challenged or  

    like made it through and were counted so that is  a very long process that ultimately still yielded  

    those ballots to be counted um I just wanted to  call that out um other folks yes commissioner Wong  

    thank you um I want to go back to commissioner's  Parker first comment on the mythbuster Monday I  

    actually really enjoy the content as well it's  really simple and and concise but I realize that  

    it is currently only in English on Twitter but  I understand that because Twitter is primary for  

    English speakers so I wonder you know because  I think those those message is so is simple but  

    then it's very concise to dismantle some of the  myth going around you know elections and it's   going to be a big issue moving forward and this  is something I want to work with director Arn  

    with it just to turn those materials into multiple  languages and potentially collaborating with local  

    cpos that are we at the department already have  been working with and when you know you guys go  

    out and do those um orientation we can add those  as part of the um the existing materials because  

    I feel like um community members will be really  benefit from learning and kind of asking question  

    because sometimes I realize for L um folks that  don't speak English they have a lot of questions  

    but they don't know how to ask those questions  right so it's good to have those this is the myth   this is the correct information and they they  can then prompt them to ask questions when we  

    when um your your staff are doing Outreach so  I would love to work with you more on that and   see if there's a possibility to incorporate some  of the things that is already there into Outreach  

    materials um for multiple languages just a  comment yeah yeah most the information is  

    already on our materials and it is translated  it's on our website as well uh it's just not   it's not posted as a as a tweet or or whatever  you call it now um so uh on Facebook but we do  

    provide this information already in in multiple  languages um but certainly we can discuss this further commissioner D um yeah I think it's  a great idea and actually I was thinking uh  

    you remember the the the quiz format that the uh  the commission did on our in our off-site Retreat  

    um Jeopardy the Jeopardy yes pride and joy doing  something like that uh you know at the beginning  

    of some these Community meetings with some of  this material and just kind of getting a show  

    of hands as a way to kind of engage people  it's like how many people think X are true   or false and it's a really great way to kind of  get people into to actually asking questions and  

    contributing and wow I'm really surprised that's  false Etc uh so it's it's a a thought about taking  

    the same material you already have that's all  translated and it's great for reference but   changing it into something that the audience can  engage with but great idea Love The Jeffy format  

    um yeah I think it would really uh Jazz up the uh  Outreach sessions uh so I had a couple questions  

    I can't believe the the city is changing to a  new content management platform in one year we  

    just got used to the last one although it had a  lot of flaws and one of the flaws was that the  

    department had to continue to maintain a separate  website because it was not compatible um with what  

    the department of Technology chose to expose with  Drupal any idea if by moving to this new content  

    management platform you'll be able to avoid  having to maintain a separate not for November  

    but also it's a content manager it's not really  uh program for applications and tools and so it's  

    uh so I right for I'll just right now I can say  for November no we we'll continue the the current  

    process as far as the the tools are concerned in  our our content on sfgov okay just thinking that  

    maybe it might reduce the the maintenance of  having to maintain two separate sites but we  

    can always hope for that um and my second question  is uh wasn't in your director's report but I was  

    wondering speaking back to our offsite um where we  had a discussion about um possibly extending the  

    contract for dominion and waiting on the RFP I'm  just wondering where where you came out on that  

    what wasn't it about now that the RFP was going to  have to be due yeah so there's no R RFP issued for  

    this uh and there there's been there's no update  I can provide at this point on the contract okay  

    so there's so what was the timing then for the  if you had to put RFP out when was it supposed   to go there's no RFP uh so uh it's GNA it'll  be a probably a s Source contract and I just I  

    just have to get to that point where uh we have a  document we I haven't got there yet okay thank you

    okay thank you commissioner d i  I had some thoughts but I want to  

    make sure commissioner see did  you have anything commissioner   burn Halls thing well feel free to  jump in at some point if you do um

    so the statistic about the well thank you for  putting this together also congratulations on  

    another successful election looking forward to  reviewing it um in April there was one Stat or  

    statement that was that you included in the  director's report that well there were a   few things that jumped out at me but this one in  particular according to the Secretary of State's  

    last Statewide report San Francisco is currently  leading and voter turnout among 15 counties with   more than 350,000 voters would you say that's  still true because I know we put the you put  

    the director's report before the like is that  still I think so yeah actual yeah it's amazing  

    that um you know we're going to be talking a  little bit more about like the media narrative   that came out of this election and I think that's  something that perhaps gets lost that actually San  

    Francisco well California voter turnout may have  been lower generally San Francisco actually had  

    the highest turnout among um among these large  counties so it's pretty awesome and I definitely  

    think speaks to the the department um and I think  we should continue to get that message out there  

    in some way as a as Commissioners um and just  as a city um I will want to ask more about this  

    in the April meeting where we just do the review  of the election specifically about the the 3200  

    vote by mail ballots not the provisional ones  but just the the vote by mail ballots that were   challenged um and the amount that were cured  uh specifically how that compares like the I  

    can't recall how many which I mean obviously we  more folks in San Francisco are voting by mail  

    than they did in the last actually probably not  obvious because that was 20120 I take that back  

    I would like to just understand how that would  compare as proportionally percentage wise to   previous presidential years if that's a lot or a  little um and then I also wanted to ask a little  

    bit more more about ballot curing and if you  think that the Cure rate is um because it says  

    288 voters have cured the challenged ballots  do you think that voters are not curing theirs  

    like do you think that the window is very short  to cure um which I imagine is a law um or what  

    do you think the reason is for folks not curing  their ballots um best guess also if you'd rather  

    wait till next month that's totally fine um the  the themes for like the challenged ballots I'm  

    curious to understand some of the like which ones  come up most often you know there are different  

    example I think you gave five examples as to  or five reasons why about would get challenged  

    um I assume that an envelope not being signed is  the most frequent um but I would just be curious  

    to know um without you having to go into like  extensive detail just curious to understand how  

    people are how the how San Francisco voters  are voting and their behaviors and how we  

    can support um I I was going to ask about the  wagtail transition as well um and if this has  

    any like dramatic practical implications uh which  may not be relevant at this point uh and then two  

    other things I just wanted to mention was 100  Outreach events between February 1st and the  

    29th is actually a lot um and so I just really  want to make sure that we're celebrating that  

    as a commission because that's amazing that's a  lot uh and the you know V voter registration is  

    doing really well so thank you it's really amazing  and impressive uh the other comment was just about  

    the racial Equity report which is more a an item  for the commission to take note of and um for me  

    to kind of circle back with the director that we  will agenda this at the next commission meeting  

    in April so you'll have time to review and um we  can put some thoughts together that we can just  

    discuss uh during that meeting and then finalize  before we share with um the department for their  

    inclusion in May that's it for me I don't know if  you want to address the ballot like the specific  

    questions around ballots at this meeting we  can wait until April if you'd prefer and like   I said no intense level of specificity required  just curious to understand some of the themes

    there uh so I don't know the reasons why people  don't cure we we uh we contact them by uh USPS  

    mail everyone who has to cure ballot we email  them if we have an email address we call them  

    if if we have a phone number um they have until  two days before the election is certified to  

    cure the ballots oh they have within okay and  so that's so in this case they had three weeks  

    essentially to cure the ballots uh different  elections will have different response rates so  

    for November we'll have a higher response rate  probably than we did for the primary election  

    and uh not signing the envelope is is one reason  but also ballots arriving late is another reason  

    why we would challenge that's really the highest  category is that the ballots came after for the   the time frame where we could accept them and uh  so we we do and we also do follow-up phone calls  

    and emails uh with folks if we have their conf  their information uh before the deadline so uh  

    that's a it's a voter based decision I I think  it's not something I could generalize uh really  

    why they respond or don't why why they respond is  obvious but why they don't I don't have an answer  

    and then um as far as the wag tail I don't know  the impact on the department um what was your  

    other points um I think you kind of spoke to that  all of them okay and just to clarify I wasn't  

    actually I wanted make sure I I understood that I  was not at all suggesting that the department did  

    anything wrong um I wanted make that I just more  was curious about what voters are doing um I I'm  

    certain that you follow up that the department  follows up with them I mean you in your report   you said call text voter portal USPS so I I should  have said that up front I that was not my intent  

    um and one thing I did want to ask as a point  of clarification is about two days before the  

    election was certified I misunderstood that so  what is the 24hour window that was included in  

    the director's report oh yeah it says with  curable the department has contacted voters  

    I see so the department contacts voters within  24 hours of review of challenging the ballot I  

    see so it's not actually the voter has 24 hours  it's the department has 24 hours okay thank you  

    that makes sense I think we actually have three  days but we our policy is one is one day that's   amazing wow great oh thank you uh commissioner D  yeah just a quick followup um so you mentioned you  

    know um reason number five that the uh envelope  was postmarked or returned late have you seen an  

    increase in ballots just trickling in late because  of the longer because of the delays in the Postal

    Service no uh the Postal Service in San Francisco  we we collaborate them before every election then  

    through the process we have I have daily  Communications with the post office and the  

    post office processes are are not an obstacle to  Ballance getting back to us and so and I I think  

    even in relation in comparison to other counties  I I I think our post office does a really really  

    good job and uh we do me B will be coming into  to us for a year I mean that's that's that's  

    mean they just they'll trickle in for a long  time for whatever reason but uh the majority  

    of the ballots will will be that can come to us  within a week that are postmarking election day   usually come the first two or three days after  election day and then we'll get several thousand  

    uh the day after several thousand potentially on  the second day after election day then it really  

    starts to slow down and then we'll we'll get you  know may maybe a few hundred a day maybe maybe  

    different for the presidential but but but the  but the the point is is that the post office is  

    really capturing these ballots that are mailed  in San Francisco and G those ballots to us so   we can count them and then we also monitor the  postmarks on the ballots through the election  

    cycle and so we report back on a daily basis the  number of ballots through the through the early  

    voting period and then election day and post  election day number of ballots that are are  

    not postmarked so the the post office is getting  daily feed back from us on whether its processes  

    are are are stamping those those ballots or not  uh so by the time whatever issues a post office  

    has by the time we get to election day uh all  of the ballots are are postmarked there might  

    be one or two and then that aren't postmarked  by the machines and then those are handstamped  

    by the postal uh Representatives uh so by so the  US getting ballot from the post office there are  

    no delays they're postmarked and uh 99% of  them are are getting processed and counted  

    so so um so if it's not postmarked it's just  it didn't get through fed through the machine  

    properly or something like that do you are are  you are we required to make sure that the vote  

    by mail ballots have a postmark even if we get  it if even if the department receives it within  

    the within the time period right so we we need  to look at the for the postmarks after election  

    day but not prior to election day okay and then  if the ballots aren't postmarked uh onor before  

    election day following election day then we can  take the signature date on the envelope that the  

    voter places on the envelope and so if it's not  postmarked it's not a potentially fatal error on  

    the uh fatal situation for that ballot if the  voter has signed the ballot and dated it on or  

    before election day we can still count that ballot  and then you said that you can receive them up  

    to a year after no they'll Tri go in yeah and um  would those be envelopes get that got lost in the  

    mail or they just got sent in really really late  or what I couldn't tell you it's just all again  

    I don't have specific knowledge on these ballots  that come back um but yeah I mean it's not like  

    there in the hundreds there'll be a stray ballot  here and there that'll come in wow okay thank

    you anyone else

    no okay let's uh let's move to public

    comment oops there are no public

    commenters okay great thank you that closes agenda  item number four we'll now move to agenda item  

    number five Commissioners reports discussion  and possible action and Commissioners reports   for topics not covered by another item on this  agenda meetings with public officials oversight  

    observation activities longrange planning for  commission activities areas of study proposed   legislation which affects elections and others uh  before we dive into the like bigger discussion um  

    there are a couple other areas that I like we  should discuss or uh speak to I have a couple  

    of updates and then I also wanted to ask folks um  if they wanted to speak to or have a discussion  

    about the public commenter who came uh for general  public comment um so would folks prefer we start  

    with the Earth quicker updates and then dive into  the discussion okay um there was one there were  

    a couple things I just longer things one  specifically to the director but also to  

    everyone I will share this uh with you but last  Mar last month the Department of Education like  

    the federal government uh is announced that they  will uh permit federal work study funds to be used  

    for Departments of Elections to hire College St  students to work in elections offices so basically  

    what this means is the federal government would be  paying for college students to be able to work in  

    elections offices that would include anything from  getting out the vote activities voter assistance  

    at polling places through voter hotline serving  as a poll worker supporting voter registration um  

    and it allows the department to all departments  to recruit college students to do this but also  

    doesn't have to front the bill to pay for those  folks the federal government would pay for it so  

    I just wanted to make sure that the department  was aware of this if it if it's a interest um as  

    a cost saving as well um obviously not an enormous  cost-saving but um it made me uh think about some  

    of the work that I know vice president Parker  has been timeout with high school students I   think a good way to engage um young folk Folks  at the college level as well so I just wanted  

    to make everyone aware and I'll share around the  announcement and toolkit for folks's reference the   toolkit from the um the department of Ed for  everyone's interest um I also wanted to chat  

    or just remind everyone about the form 700 and  sunshine training not for uh new Commissioners  

    but just for current uh not new Commissioners um  longstanding Commissioners please make sure you  

    get those in by April 2nd um it's the form 700  and the Sunshine training declaration training  

    is earlier I think it's do really I add a same  time I think sure yeah you got the weekend well  

    you're ahead of the game well we will confirm  um but I will take a look when we have a second  

    and make sure it's April 2nd um I also want us  to talk about move the June meeting it is on a  

    national holiday so um I think we might want to  move it to the following week but we should talk  

    through that um and then one other item that I  think is worth talking about is around absences  

    and providing notice um for meetings obviously  we had to move this meeting and so uh knowing  

    that we are a commissioner down or we do have one  vacancy our need to get to Quorum is a little bit  

    quicker um I mean our potential to not have  Quorum rather is a little quicker so I'd like  

    to just kind of talk through that um and remind  folks and also share that you know we do provide  

    the city with notice of our meetings um and in  our bylaws we require that everyone attend every  

    meeting if they can uh that they should plan as  far ahead um and one thing that I don't know if  

    folks are aware of but wanted to make sure  they are is that uh secretary Davis provides  

    attendance updates to the city as a part of our  bylaws um and responsible for providing also our  

    appointing authorities with attendance reports  each year um it doesn't it doesn't speak to what  

    is in excused versus excused everything for the  most part has just been considered excused but I  

    do think when like we should all be striving to  come to every single meeting but I want to talk  

    as a body about what notice should or should  like what's fair for notice outside of the   bounds of illness you know emergencies those  things are not what I'm speaking about but I  

    think we should talk about it because it it is  something we commit to the city to the public  

    to the director to the DCA to the secretary and  I I think it's just fair for us to make it come  

    to an agreement about that so um those are just  some small updates and before we dive into uh the  

    other piece my my proposal for uh absences is  that we inform that folks who are not able to  

    join would try to get in notice within the month  so a month before the meeting let us know um let  

    Marissa excuse me secretary Davis and myself no  but I think after one week out if it's something  

    unrelated to illness or emergency that might  be to me grounds for an unexcused absence I'm  

    completely flexible though and would like to  collaborate with folks now that we've talked   through what the bylaws say and also kind  of theid consider other considerations um  

    so just a recap talked about the department of  Ed talked about the uh June meeting the form  

    700 Sunshine training and uh the policy around  absences and I will open it up for discussion  

    about those or if other people have updates  other than uh the other item that we plan to discuss yes commissioner D yeah I think  it's um for a regular meetings I think  

    it's completely reasonable for every I mean  everyone knows the schedule for a year in   advance so there's really kind of no excuse  if you have a conflict you should be able to  

    tell the rest of the commission by the meeting  before if you're not going to make it um so I  

    don't think that's unreasonable at all if it's  a special meeting and it's not on our regular  

    schedule I think there should be a little more  latitude but yeah I mean I think all of us are  

    aware that we're in inconveniencing you know  five or six other Commissioners and staff and  

    people who might have wanted this room having  had to book city hall rooms before um if we're  

    going to have the cancel it's best not to do  the last minute and just to let everyone know   I've already informed um President and Vice  President Stone and vice president Parker be  

    able to make a meeting in the latter half of  June so apologies I forgot you said the latter  

    half of June I thought I was just thinking  about that date I wasn't thinking about that

    week one just thank you commissioner d one  piece that I wanted to just clarify is you  

    don't have to share it in the public forum that  you won't be there um really you're only just  

    the ask is or at least the the bylaw State  just let the secretary and me know so that  

    we can make sure we're managing attendance  um so you know sometimes we don't want to  

    always tell the world where we're going to  be all the time um and that's that's quite   all right um from my point of view but uh  if folks disagree obviously open to hearing

    that and yes this was specific to  regular meetings not special meetings of


    vice president Parker um yeah I just want to  agree I think it's um great to give notice  

    and that a month seems also reasonable I  think once in a while there is something   that comes up you know with your work that  you may not have known a month out but a  

    week um you know is certainly at work you  know like these things can be managed even  

    if you have a heavy work week you work around  it because that's what we do and that's what   we've committed to um so but I think that the  ideal of being at least a month out is is very

    reasonable missioner Wong yeah I agree I think  a month of noctus uh sounds reasonable of course  

    there should be some flexibility surrounding  emergency um and si le and I personally have  

    to go home every year at the end of the  year and you know this is something that   we can work it through and I will give you  of course like Ms and the F of like this  

    is you know family trip I have to do um but  is it's more or less regular when I will go  

    back home and then I think think this is  something that we can work it through um   but I think a week out would be a little bit  difficult for everyone um to reor rearrange  

    our schedule so I think um a month in advance  but also um depending on everyone's you know  

    conditions and the reasons and we can be  understandable and flexible about that too

    yeah thank you just definitely don't want  to be rigid but anyone else commissioner  

    Wy commissioner brol okay else all right seems  like we have General consensus um as it pertains  

    to the June meeting uh we could we could punt  this conversation to the agenda item on future  

    meetings um so that we can get to the next topic  and then also let the director go um unless folks  

    want to have strong feelings about that now  June okay let's get into it so um two memos  

    on the topic I'm going to just like introduce  my piece and then I I know commissioner D has  

    uh has raised some specific areas of feedback on  that's a little separate um so I'll just introduce  

    mine which is uh I've rais the issue about kind  of the media putting a little bit be the cart  

    before the horse uh sometimes or jumping to make  determinations about races uh way pretty much a  

    little prematurely uh we've been talking about  this since 2022 specifically around the recall  

    elections and the midterms um and as a commission  we've asked the department and the director to  

    update the website and results reporting page to  provide greater Clarity and transparency um to  

    which the department has accommodated I I think  to Echo what vice president Parker said a little  

    bit earlier that the website and the results  reporting page looks much clearer and stronger  

    and I know commissioner D is going to share  more specific feedback um she has about the the   website I wanted to just specifically address the  challenge around public information in the media  

    um because I think similarly to the conversation  about mythbusting is that we want people to trust  

    the process and the results and uh as I kind of  outlined in the memo there are some gaps that I  

    think there could be a little bit of Education  done uh specifically we know that vote by mail  

    is increasingly how people are voting upwards of  90% um what they don't know when they are voting  

    by mail is that there are more steps for the  Department with vote by mail ballots so thing  

    that processing takes longer as the Director kind  of talked through earlier almost as if the steps  

    some of the steps that the voter was you know  having to take by going to a specific location  

    to cast a ballot previously some of those steps  though not exactly are steep are passed on to the  

    department um and so it takes longer to count and  I think as the city and as the state have moved  

    toward a lot more use of vote by mail it's also  important that we move the media to understand  

    this as well and I think it will Al alleviate some  of the pressure on the department as well if we  

    can help reframe some of folks's expectations so  one thing that was really effective in 2020 if  

    if you all remember the the national media did a  pretty effective job and I know through the work   of a lot of pro-democracy organizations as well  election night was no longer a night it was very  

    much positioned as election week um and I think  that we can do if we start talking about this  

    now some prep work on this ahead of November we  talked in the last meeting about how our ballots  

    are going to be even longer in November than  they are were for the primary election and so  

    uh if that's the case again the pro the process  of managing all those vote by mail ballots will  

    continue to be extended uh and so it's really be  on us to make sure that um people the media is at  

    least aware I think the dep Department's done  a really great job updating the website their  

    process is very very clear but unfortunately as  I showed in my in some of the screenshots people  

    in the media did not necessarily pick up on some  of these things for example Outlets were so going  

    so far as to calling actual races on Election  night when less than half of the total ballots  

    cast had been counted um there were conf there  was confusion from voters that I saw on Twitter  

    or whatever we're calling it now X um but also  from candidates who reached out and said I don't  

    really understand can you explain this to me um  and I think uh you know we saw this as well just  

    from the element of all these hot takes of what  our city has become in like less than you know   well well well well before the department had  uh called any of the races and certainly well  

    before the election was certified so I did ask the  director I gave the director a heads up that this  

    is something that I thought would be important for  us to talk about uh and if he could share a little  

    bit of insight into how the media is prepared uh  how the department engages with the media on this  

    issue but I think also the commission I'd love to  see us do some brainstorming about how we can work  

    with folks the media and perhaps our appointing  authorities other avenues to ensure they really  

    understand the ballot counting process and are AC  accurately communicating that process to voters  

    and the general public um one other example is  that I think was not picked up on which I should  

    have mentioned earlier is you know the department  doesn't release election results doesn't release   more results the day after the election but some  as you see saw in some of the screenshots that's  

    not how the media was talking about it they didn't  understand this so you know a couple ideas I was   having just putting thoughts together would love  to have more discussion about this is could we  

    have some round taes and invite local press  to participate this summer um can we invite  

    candidates and electives to participate in that  are there ways in which we as a commission can   support this ask while not putting more labor  on the department who already are like doing  

    quite a a bit to prepare for November so um that  is that is the that is my concern about results

    reporting over to commissioner D  to talk through her feedback as

    well director erns do you want to provide a little  bit of insight on how on the relationship between  

    the department and the Press um obviously you  provide press releases ahead of the election  

    and extremely thorough press releases and very  clear press releases multiple times throughout  

    the counting process but could you just talk  to share a little bit about what that looks   like ahead of the election um in general well  the beyond the press releases yes so during the  

    cycle I speak to probably most of the media of  in San Francisco and either email phone or they  

    stop by and speak to them at the office and so I  don't I don't speak to everyone of course but I I  

    speak to the the media Personnel who you would  be accustomed to to reading and seeing and uh  

    probably looking at their social media accounts  and so uh and if there's questions about the  

    results or the election they're contacting  me directly they're not contacting the the   department generally they're contacting me and  so I I having those conversations if someone  

    is new to San Francisco potentially they don't  understand the process or they didn't contact   me or they didn't speak to someone else in  their organization um but for the most part uh  

    the media contacts directly and I speak to them  every cycle and I will even more so going into  

    November have more conversations with the media  Personnel so any sort of messaging that needs to  

    get out about results we can certainly do that  as we go through the the process thank you for  

    talking through that and I think one one point  of clarification that I have on my mind is less  

    it's more proactive in terms of just making sure  they understand that the landscape has shifted  

    from previous presidential elections in terms  of how people vote and the impact that has on  

    the department um and the process to make sure  that the longer it takes to count doesn't mean  

    that the results are any less accurate um which  is a problem I know facing elections offices all  

    over the country so uh this wouldn't be so much as  like in the days leading up to or in the midst of  

    the election it would be really really just an  educational process for the the media um which  

    might be completely unusual um but it was just  an idea um that I'd love to hear if you have a  

    perspective on that i' welcome that director Arn  otherwise also Commissioners as well yeah we've   already included that into our Outreach  presentations uh so we've already started  

    messaging around the fact that the processing  of ballots will require more time in November  

    than it did for March in comparison and we'll  build that out we've already been thinking  

    about building that out uh more uh not just in  our presentations but also within City Hall uh  

    to the to the media and we've done that we've  done this before this is not the first time   that we've we've made these efforts to explain  the process and and uh and the time involved in

    process going into an cycle

    so they're doing like do you mind just explaining  what that is without me jumping to our standard  

    Outreach presentations so what what are they like  are they what are standard Outreach like are you  

    is the department proactively sending these to  news outlets or is this folks who are at are  

    they inbound requests from media what are what is  the form with which Outreach present ations are  

    being delivered listen to to like to the to the  public so if we go to an organization if we do a  

    tabling if we give a presentation got it yeah at  the events at Outreach events right right yeah we  

    haven't we we just finished March so we haven't  really started the the campaigning for November  

    yet so but but we'll pick that up here rather  quickly uh yeah and we'll be we'll be issuing  

    information to the media and City Hall um and and  not just once but continually as we go through we  

    come into the cycle as we go through the cycle so  that's awesome that you're already including the  

    present the this as a part of the presentation  and Outreach events um which seems should have  

    been obvious to me but um that so because it  means when you're interacting with voters you're  

    actively and directly explaining it to them um  I think it's great that you're also going to  

    incorporate the timeline for ballot processing  like how that's continuing to reinforce the  

    length of time that takes um and yeah if there's  anything we can do to help with our appointing  

    authorities or others to get that message even  broader and wider uh so that I mean I'm sure  

    this is not the first election I know this is not  the first election where the you know the media



    How would

    useful or not because you're  basically repeating all that   information to everyone anyway we have  we didn't think about doing this again um

    certainly I'm hearing that this or I'm reading  that the sound is a little wonky I'm wondering  

    if it's because we don't have those things on  the microphones do you know where those might be oh the wind the wind things a baffle or  something we're going to just take a quick  

    second to I think it's it could be the wifi  commissioner burnol is having trouble hearing  

    and seeing us and I was having trouble  with the Wi-Fi not much we can do about

    that yeah they normally do  do you know what happened to

    them on just bear with

    me so apparently the video is bad too  yeah it's a city hall system issue then  

    probably okay like like we can call okay  it's no it's well because the public we  

    also need to make sure it's no it's our  Wi-Fi that's causing the issue not hers  

    right but I was wondering if at  least like she could call in in here I know burnol can you hear us  now will you just wave if you can  

    okay okay looks like we're okay for  right now um apologies for that brief

    Interruption vice president Parker did you have  

    other comments that you wanted  to make I feel like I cut you off okay anyone else have comments or thoughts  or ideas that they want to POS about this

    topic commissioner D I'll pass it to you to walk  through yours and then we can also you know leave  

    the floor open after thank you president Stone  um so uh like vice president Parker I love  

    the improvements made to the uh elections result  reporting page uh just had a couple of additional  

    suggestions as I was checking it every day myself  uh and uh hopefully you had time to look at my  

    memo now I'd love to hear your reactions to some  of these suggestions and I did look at some other  

    counties and I provided in the memo an example  from LA County which also has these bars uh and  

    part of it is just to acknowledge that people  absorb information in different ways and visual  

    there are a lot of people who can see things  a picture's worth a thousand words right and   it's a lot easier to see a proportion visually  uh and so uh many of my comments here are just  

    about improving the context so that people can  kind of at a glance really see what's going on  

    um I was happy to see that unlike in the past uh  people did not misreport on the U voter turnout um  

    but it still took a couple of different places  you had to kind of look to figure out what the   turnout was so I really liked how La did it  that you you can just see turnout right away  

    that's like really easy to figure out um I didn't  think their ballot party distribution was a very  

    useful chart that was like very hard to read and  understand but the basic bar charts I think it's  

    really helpful you know we have people who are  color blind that may not be able to distinguish   color so having an additional you know physical  visual thing to see I think is is also helpful  

    that La does which is nice uh in my example here  I just use a simple the same dut charts that the  

    department uses in its report because then  you can see all of it in context and actually  

    provide the same information the department  already provides but in the context of turnout  

    and uh as I'm suggesting given our um commission  priority about voter registration also pointing  

    out how many people you know didn't register right  so we can look at it from the entire electorate so  

    uh yeah I'd love to hear your reactions thoughts  the feasibility these are just some suggestions  

    I'm sure if you share it with your staff they  might have even better ideas but these are just  

    a c yeah I I haven't studied this yet so I don't  have any specific responses uh we haven't really  

    we we're just now starting our conversations  around November so we haven't picked up really  

    what changes potentially we would be making for  the website for November uh but certainly we we  

    appreciate the input we can we can review it uh  I mean many of the suggestions that from from  

    the previous round we incorporated those in our  website and we we increased those in that input  

    when we did the redesign when we went to uh the  the new Drupal SF go site uh so certainly we'll  

    use this input and our conversations I don't I  don't know what we'll incorporate at this point  

    and I I really don't have specific uh responses  to the to the information you provided so I I can  

    do so in in April so great and I'd love if any  fellow Commissioners have thoughts or different

    ideas a forum for everyone to share vice president

    Parker um well first just to um both of you  I really appreciate you taking the time to  

    put all of these together and um you know you  president stone with all of the screenshots   you know from the different things that you're  observing I observed some of the similar things  

    and then also all of the Gathering that you did  um commissioner D of other things I completely  

    agree with the comments on visual aids it's it's  such a um I think many people process information  

    that way um a little more quickly you know and  jump to fewer conclusions if we have of course  

    done the charts right you know because then they  might jump to the wrong conclusions if we don't   do it that way um and I particularly like the  idea of the voter turnout bar and so you know  

    and I already commented I really liked the bar  that we had already on the site and so I think   adding like a voter turnout bar would be really  useful and I was glad to see the example from LA  

    and agree with your other comments about that um  the other thing that I agreed with from your um  

    your report there was um the idea of historical  turnout for similar elections as opposed to  

    every election CU it is really different and  so you know again that like aiding the media  

    and the public in drawing reasonable conclusions  right because if you're comparing a a midterm um  

    primary against a you know a presidential it's  just yeah it's just um so helping people along  

    um I think in interpreting with reasonable  conclusions um is useful so I I like that  

    suggestion as well um there was one note on um  the turnout circle graph that you had where I  

    had to do a bit of a double check cuz my brain  was taking a minute with some of the language   and I know this was just sample this is not  like it must be this way but the um was you  

    know saying perhaps instead of unregistered  citizens is like eligible but unregistered  

    because there was something about it that I just  I had to read it a few times to think oh okay I   know what she means um and so um but I think I  also think that people want to know actual or  

    perhaps projected voter turnout once the ballot  numbers the number of ballots are in um I also  

    think that they'd like to see the percent of  that that's counted like a thermometer you   know like so we have a projected total that's  the top of the thermometer then how many have  

    we actually counted as we get along that bar um  the other thing I actually really appreciated   from this was all of the visual accessibility  um notes you know I hadn't personally thought  

    about those things I have in other ways when  we've talked about our website in general but   um the comments on the visual contrast or the  dark bars or the bolded I I really appreciated  

    those um so so generally I appreciate um you know  the suggestions that both of you um are bringing

    here commissioner loli I just I don't want to repeat um what  commissioner Parker said you said a lot of  

    things that I was um um thinking about I  really appreciate both of you doing this  

    this is really um great to look at and I  would just like to second that the voter  

    turnout bar is really an excellent idea um  and the different colors and it's just easy  

    to to see I would like to make one comment um  about unregistered citizens um I think to me  

    the I would ree unregistered eligible voters  or unregistered voters but you know given the  

    fact that in our jurisdiction non-citizens  in certain circumstances can vote having the  

    citizen there to me contradicts th those terms  um but thank you very much this is extremely

    helpful thank you commissioner aosi

    coup comment



    on turnout figures and in fact  there was um and that isn't to   knock on you but to knock on those  who misreported that um and so I do


    there I just wanted to

    add that that was

    also extremely of how much especially if  we're going to focus on education about  

    vote by mail people understanding how much vote by   mail is left you know I think just people  understanding how people voted and how


    average turnout for the past three years instead  of many ballots I'm not sure bless you bless you  

    um no no um I I actually thought that was  commissioner Wong and you guys were just  

    you know having a duet of sneezes um so you  were sneezing and then no um anyways uh I oh  

    yes the average turnout for the past three  years instead of many ballots because I do   think that if we start putting those numbers  in Pro actively in the reports page it might  

    uh how did I write this my notes about this  that it could have the unintended consequence   of giving the public a sense of something in  the past that doesn't necessarily inform the  

    present um and that's that's the only piece that  I didn't think I thought would could potentially  

    be misleading not necessarily intentionally but  that people might run with another predetermined  

    idea or assumption um and my last comment was  just the notion that there was a lot of feedback  

    in here and you know that there could be room  perhaps for the Department to not necessarily  

    do everything um but uh but I think there are  some really great suggestions so thank you um  

    but knowing we have a lot of time I I just  want to call that out um sounds like my mic  

    is bad well hopefully hopefully we C captured  it on the recording uh vice president Parker  

    um thank you just just to resurface the thing I  brought up earlier um in director 's report um

    around maybe there is some room within the  reporting to talk about why it takes so long  

    when you get past those first few days you know  and that and maybe that's in the press releases  

    um you know once we get past the first few days  is that you might notice that it takes longer   here's why you know just a couple of sentences  um or or something you know just just wanted  

    to slot it back in here since this is the topic  now so it didn't get lost in even in my notes um  

    with this part thank you vice president Parker  commissioner D yeah um a couple of thoughts uh  

    so the reason I I indicated average turnout for  the past three whatever type of election it is  

    um is that I thought going back further might you  know there might be different it might be too far  

    in the past that it might not be relevant like  for example director ARS included in his report   that the average turnout since 1972 was about  50% in this type of election um maybe that's  

    held pretty steady I don't know that's something  I'd love the department to to assess like what is  

    the reasonable number to go back that the trends  have been pretty stable um because you know I I  

    think we're painfully aware that um that the  pandemic really affected things and so maybe   there's a blip there that you know should be  averaged out so that was that was why I kind  

    of suggested three years but I would leave that  to the discretion of the department um just like  

    director AR has provided that information to us  I think that it's really helpful for the public   to absorb uh what what is normal right I mean as  essentially we're trying to put it in context for  

    them um and so even though for example president  Stone mentioned that we were among the highest  

    among all large counties for turnout this time  for us apparently it's a little bit slightly  

    below what is normal because Normal was 50% right  so we're just a little shy of what's normal even  

    though compared to others our turnout maybe higher  in general so so I think that context is is very  

    helpful because we really want to compare us to  ourselves I think um and then the other thought  

    was um back to vice president Parker's comment  about understanding you know how many ballots  

    have been counted and what the pace is so one  suggestion I had was to include a stat that  

    said n% of balance were counted by election night  and I calculated that was 43% of ballots had been  

    counted by election night and I don't know how if  that's pretty stable over time that it's about 43%  

    or it's about half whatever the number is um but  I think that's really helpful for people to know  

    wow there are a lot of outstanding ballots right  and you could actually do a a little graph that  

    shows you know n% over say for the seven days  right what what the percentage typically looks  

    like before you hit 100% And that I think would  be a great way for people to compare like track  

    track progress against what the normal count is  so I just wanted to jump in on that I a couple  

    things um I will say though I I I would um I  don't know that I would agree with the idea of  

    of um comparing the counting process to previous  years specifically because it has changed so much  

    right like in the presidential the 2020 is really  the first election where everyone was receiving a  

    bot in the mail and so I think as you know kind  of it's kind of the exact thing that I'm getting  

    at here that like things have actually changed  because more and more folks are voting by mail  

    um I'm going to talk into this a little louder  just to make sure the sound is picking up sorry  

    um more and more people are voting by mail  and that's kind of the point is that if we   start comparing ourselves in terms of the speed  of counting I think actually that could open up  

    more questions of if the process is problematic  so I I would actually I would push back a little  

    bit on that one um and then the comparing us to  ourselves is interesting my first instinct is  

    to say that's a you know yeah I would agree but I  also it's so challenging with this media narrative  

    because there was so much focus on the low turnout  the low turnout the low turnout but relatively  

    speaking actually it wasn't low turnout um it  may have been low turnout in terms of you know  

    previous Cycles but compared with the rest of this  to compared with voter behavior in other counties  

    with the rest of the electorate of California um  so I guess it's all a matter of perspective but  

    I I'm coming from the lens of what is the public  understanding um and what is the media circulating  

    to the public about the process and voter turnout  so those are just two points of clarification two  

    points of response and then I want I wanted  to just clarify about the past three years um  

    uh that I was referring very specifically to page  the page that um has turned out among all eligible  

    citizens uh that the second paragraph underneath  it another helpful fact to include is instead of  

    just saying many ballots would still need to be  counted might be an average of conducting the past   three years so it wasn't necessarily responding  to the to the point about 3 years but more just  

    saying I don't think we should mention previous  like of all I don't think we should even mention  

    past years um I think we should stick with with  many with many ballots um so just that was a point  

    of clarification it wasn't about the previous  paragraph Oh I thought someone had their hand

    up did you have anything else um I uh I actually I was going to say that  the first thing that you said president Stone was  

    I also wanted to just uplift is that how we are  voting has changed so significantly that there is  

    and it's actually something that I even you know  observed as I was reading the media coverage of   this election is that there were there were a  lot of um members of the media who were trying  

    to draw conclusions that are impossible to draw  um because the way that we vote has shifted so  

    dramatically and even what happened in you know  2020 or 2022 it it is still shifted I'll give  

    myself as an example um I've always been an in a  day of voter I like going to the polling place I  

    really like it it feels like a Civic act it is uh  I like getting my sticker there and when I did in  

    2020 had to vote by mail and then um and then I  did it one more time in 2022 and um and I was done  

    with that like it just it made it feel just not  the event that I want it to feel like and so I'm  

    back to in person and I'm not going to do vote by  mail unless I happen to be out of town on Election   Day and so I think that we can't I want the media  to not draw um unreasonable conclusions on Trends  

    um and I also anyway so I just wanted to um just  agree with what you you were saying there thank

    you does anyone have any thoughts about and we  can continue to talk about this but thoughts  

    about what we could do to support the department  in engaging with communities engaging with the  

    media to make sure they understand the process is  one thing that I think is so remarkable about the  

    results reporting page that the department  provides is the reporting schedule page is  

    extremely clear I mean is extremely clear I mean  even the line about about uh about when about the  

    canvas period reporting um that you know when  when people can expect the next update what  

    what the process looks like so how can we make  how can we bring more media to understand that  

    perhaps the messages things have changed let's  make sure that the story like that things reflect  

    this it's just because we're not you know at the  height of a pandemic in 2020 doesn't mean that   that same concept of election week has gone away  we should continue to it was a good practice and  

    we should continue to push for that so if folks  have ideas I would I would welcome that um and  

    like I said it doesn't have to be today we can  keep talking about it um I think I had brought  

    up our appointing authorities but I think that  might be a good uh option as well yes commissioner

    ly would it be appropriate for the commission  and members of this commission to be a part of  

    any educating the public about the disinformation  that comes out um and letting them know what the  

    process is with that help to to take some of the  burden off of the department which has which is  

    already doing this work which is already informing  the public educating the public could we be an  

    additional piece to that in some form of of really  as you were saying uh president Stone the voting  

    habits have changed um I think on this commission  we vote I mean I've been voting by mail for yeah a  

    long time um so is that something that could be  helpful if we were to take part in that process  

    of educating and informing the public of what the  process is and why um the outcomes are as they are  

    and why there's still um time before we have the  official results would that be appropriate or is  

    that not something that's in our I'm this is a  question I know we're going to be talking about  

    this more but that's the idea that came to mind  for me thanks commissioner VY I I mean I I think  

    it's appropriate um I mean I definitely think  you've raised some good questions of whether  

    the department would want us to do that um and I  won't I won't put director AR on the spot asking  

    him that right now um in a public forum but I  I mean those are two those are two questions  

    that are raised but I think we could all have  that conversation of how we could jump in I   definitely definitely um thank you commissioner  D yeah I was going to say it's not just election  

    week it's election month yeah sure right and um I  wonder if yeah but we have early voting right so  

    um so um I don't remember if you did this director  AR did you do any kind of a press conference at  

    the beginning of election month no so that would  be an idea especially before November it's a big  

    election we're gonna have a probably an eight  card ballot right so there are like a bunch of   big things that I think are announcement worthy  and invite the press and let's indoctrinate them  

    all then at the start of ction month right pick  off key things um and then to accompany it um I  

    think it would be great to put together an FAQ um  and put it on the website so during election month  

    you know you can kind of highlight it kind of goes  in line with the MythBusters theme right it's like  

    kind of highlight a new question and you know just  like the question that vice president Parker asked  

    you know why does it slow down so things and I'm  sure that this commission would be happy to kind   of brainstorm some questions and plus uh you guys  are answering the phones all the time right so  

    you know what kinds of questions you're getting  from the public so just distilling that down into  

    really clear FAQ so that members of the public can  just look it up themselves I think that would be   great thanks commissioner D um I have a thought  on that but I'll go to commissioner W first and  

    then I'll jump in thank you president Stow um  I think there are two pieces one is uh media  

    engagement and another one is public education  um and for media engagement you know I second  

    the idea of Hosting um a press conference this is  something that we can discuss with director Arns  

    moving forward and one comment is um you know  I not this among Chinese immigrants communities  

    for example they've heavily rely on CH chines  ethnic media to look at all this results which  

    is similar to what um president Stone's report  showcased lots of disinformation lots of jumping  

    to conclusion maybe even to a larger extent in  Chinese Ethnic media from my observation um so  

    I think when we talk about media engagement  we have to be mindful of the language aspect   also and how to engage with e media meaning not  englishspeaking ones because you know I can only  

    speak for Chinese IMM communities as a Chinese  immigrant myself that this information is even  

    more even worse in in a way um among uh Chinese  social media like we chat so I am still working  

    on some solution I don't have one so not to like  I understand why things has been like this because  

    it's really hard right looking at this U media  landscape right now so this is something we we  

    should keep brainstorming and and talk about  and with the public education piece that you  

    know brought up um I think one suggestions  once again just bring storming is you know  

    as Commissioners we can also hold um special  hearing engaging with know cbos that do voter  

    Outreach directly and I think these stuff that we  just talked about um I'm not sure if like local  

    cpos actually is aware of all those information  because it's number one it's pretty complicated  

    in terms of number and from my understanding  cpos do photo Outreach and also depending on  

    all these like numbers but it's really hard for  front ey workers um to determine like which data  

    to look at and how to then reach out to their own  communities to present right so I think you know  

    to your point I think doing public education in a  way of like hey this is what we know right about  

    this data and information about a folder turnout  that is actually not that bad you know compared to  

    what the media has been reporting these things are  not circulated I think among grass organizations  

    and then if we were to do something engaging with  cbos I think hosting um a special hearing I don't  

    know in what form since I'm pretty new here I'm  just throwing my idea of engaging with them maybe   hear them out like what is the difficulties of  engaging with communities what is the things  

    that you're not sure about that maybe perhaps  we can hopefully answer the questions or relate  

    a message to the department right because  department has a lot going on already it's   really hard right to get another another task  and I think if we can help director ARS for a  

    little bit of like collecting those feedback  and relay those message to the department so   when they're doing Outreach you know themselves um  they can improve on some of the contents or just  

    simply FAQ right that would be really helpful in  multiple languages too um to solve off some of the  

    issues with media reporting um so yeah that's  just like my two cents thank you commissioner

    Wong um so I'll just jump in on the comment I was  going to make and then I had one other comment I  

    wanted to or one other couple points I want to  make in response to commissioner Wong um which  

    actually I think can kind of go hand inand uh  so I I think the FAQ would probably be a good  

    idea I will say I part of I see the challenge is  actually less about the CL Clarity of information  

    but more about the fact that the media isn't using  the information that's already there like I think  

    the department has a lot on its website um not  that I think that an FAQ would be bad I think but  

    I think what ends up happening is the department  is doing so much to make it clear but yet it's not  

    getting taken up by the right people to be able to  distribute that properly because when people go to  

    look up election results they're not actually  their first stop isn't always necessarily the   department the first stop might be the chronicle  or some of these other outlets um Chinese um  

    media Outlets as well so uh I think personally  I actually think it's less of a department issue  

    than it is the media issue um and then the second  piece second thing I wanted and like I said that's  

    not to say that neq wouldn't be helpful that's  just to say I think there's so much there that  

    they're already not using um uh that could be  better better used the other thing was about uh  

    public education um and uh uh yeah about public  education because I think actually commissioner  

    Wong to speak to some of what you mention  I actually think that's like a much bigger   conversation um that isn't that is relevant uh  but maybe a little bit bigger than this specific  

    issue that doesn't mean we couldn't talk about  it as a body but I think uh as it pertains to  

    making sure the public trusts the results of the  election and Trust the Integrity of the process  

    I personally think um that would be a different  a different process and I do know that the dep  

    Department actually does does a fair amount with  like the grants that they offer uh with nonprofit  

    um I don't know if it's the specific organizations  that are on your mind but I do know there is some  

    work and also the office of Civic engagement does  a lot um so I think that's something the public  

    educa education piece is something and getting  feedback is something we should definitely keep   talking about even if not necessarily pertaining  to this issue I do have some reservations about  

    special hearings because I think that can draw a  lot of attention to us um when ultimately I think  

    we want to I personally believe that we should  stay in the background um and uh be able and try  

    to help in the way that we can by not centering  or drawing too much public scrutiny or media  

    attention to the Department of Elections um so  I'm a less excited about the idea of that uh but  

    whether it's a press conference or a Roundtable  or uh I think that we're all seemingly on the  

    same page that getting the media and in addition  to you know only English language speaking media  

    but also the Chinese press in the city to engage  more proactively with the Department to make sure  

    it's empowered to understand why it's election  month and not election week or night um I think  

    we're all kind of on the same same page so I'm  I'm I appreciate everyone's input commissioner

    VY excuse me I just had um one last comment I  I think it's in I agree with you about staying  

    in the background and not and that's why  I mentioned is it appropriate for us to be  

    doing this and from my perspective this would  be to inform the public as a countermeasure to  

    the media and prior to the election but I think  at the same time we we should concern ourselves  

    a little less about the media because we don't  have control there and so we understand what the  

    narrative is going to be we know that this is an  upcoming election that might be contentious for   many reasons and so for me the goal is not to  circumvent what the media is doing Bic they're  

    going to do what they do but to be proactive  in educating the public about the fact that our  

    department and our department head is doing  everything to make sure and has always done  

    everything to make sure that these elections are  trustworthy so that's more of where I was coming  

    from and if we can be a support to the department  in informing the public that that is the case and  

    here are the examples of how that is the case is  more of what I was speaking for so I just wanted  

    to clarify that thank you commissioner ly vice  president Parker um thank you yeah I like the  

    idea of us looking for opportunities like that and  I'm recalling something else that um director AR  

    said a little earlier which is that um in the  Outreach presentations they've already from  

    my right I think director Arn you all also have  already put a lot of this kind of information in   those presentations and so right some detail so so  some you know so that's a good is just just wanted  

    to remind ourselves that he did say that there  is at least some there and you know and perhaps   there will be adjustments as I'm sure there are  every year to what those presentations look like  

    so that's one place where any organization that  the department is already doing Outreach that  

    they are hearing that but yeah I mean I support  any way we can continue doing that thank you

    any other comments okay well I appreciate the


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