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Election Watch

June 20, 2003

THANKS AND FOLLOW-UP FROM WEDNESDAY'S BIG IRV HEARING

Thanks to all who packed the SF Elections Commission Wednesday night and spoke in a show of overwhelming support for the successful implementation of Instant Runoff Voting in SF this year.

More than 70 people and representatives of groups including the SF Chapters of NOW, the Sierra Club, and the League of Women Voters, the Southeast Asian Community Center, the Richmond Democratic Club, the SF Labor Council, the Northern California Citizens Project, and the Harvey Milk L/G/B/T Democratic Club attended. 2 people showed up to speak out against the implementation of IRV.

Elections Commissioners asked everyone present - and those who couldn't make it - to do two things to turn the positive comments from Wednesday into substantive actions by the Commission in 2 weeks:

1) Put your comments about the proposed IRV Public Education Plan in writing to the Commission. At the end of the hearing, Commissioners expressed their desire to hear more specific comments from the public about what they should change in the Dept. of Elections' proposed $526,000 IRV Public Education Plan. Send an email with your comments (see suggestions below) addressed to: All Commissioners, SF Elections Commission at: [email protected]

2) Attend the next meeting of the SF Elections Commission to see how they decide to act in response to all of the Public Comments. Wednesday, July 2 at 7pm, Room 400, SF City Hall. Hope to see you there.

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Suggestions for changes to the SF Dept. of Elections' proposed IRV Public Education Plan:

#1 Keep the Voter Education Message Simple, Not Complicated Just tell Voters to Rank Their Choices.

Dont overwhelm every voter with complicated messages about the history of Ranked Choice Voting and every detail about the vote counting process. People that ask those questions should get answers, but the message should focus on what voters will see when they look at their ballot.

#2 Make sure most of the voter education resources go first to communities of color and precincts where there is usually lower voter turnout.

#3 The Commission should ask the Board of Supervisors to release the additional $250,000 for voter education as soon as possible.

#4 The Dept. of Elections shouldn't waste any of the limited public education dollars on excessive spending such as the $40,000 they've budgeted for a website: spend more on community outreach instead.


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