More than 1,400 ballots of the wrong party affiliation were incorrectly mailed to San Francisco voters, the San Francisco Examiner has learned. The ballot snafu comes just a week before San Francisco voters hit the polls for the June primary election, and during the prime vote-by-mail period — critical for local races like the Democratic County Central Committee, the state Senate primary and a number of local ballot measures. The Examiner learned of the mistake from readers who sent in letters they obtained from the San Francisco Department of Elections. “A Nonpartisan ballot was mailed to you in error; this ballot did not accurately reflect your request for a Democratic Party ballot for this primary election,” reads the letter from the department, signed by John Arntz, its director.
June races are historically low turnouts, and oft-decided by few voters. In the June 2014 election, for instance, now-Assemblymember David Chiu beat his opponent, David Campos, by a hair under 3,000 votes. About 61,705 vote-by-mail ballots have been received and accepted so far this election, according to the Department of Elections eData tool.
Importantly, Arntz said, the incorrect ballots will still be counted if sent in. Voters may also mail in a correct, replacement ballot which was later sent to voters.
“Yes, if we receive one ballot we will count that ballot. The notices indicate this as well,” Arntz wrote in an email. “If we receive the first ballot we will hold it until after Election Day and then void it if the second ballot arrives.” Arntz told the Examiner between 1,400 and 1,600 voters were affected.