Press Release - Part Two

Contact Person: Doug Comstock 386-4934
Compiled by The Committee to Stop the Giveaway

June 17, 1997


6. Illegal or Unacceptable Poll Conditions.

(a). an official election clerk from a Bayview district reported to MJ that her ballot box was picked up by men who came in a van, when she protested that she had always taken it down to the Registrar's herself, she was told that was not how it was done this time. She was made to sign and turn it in to them, then they took the box away. We are still trying to determine more specifics in this report.

(b). ME went to her poll to vote at 6:30 pm, where she has voted for the past six years. She followed all the signs to find the doors locked. She wondered around Horace Mann School to see if there might be a poll worker or someone around, but a janitor told her "they closed early - you might be able to vote at 24th and Capp St." Ms. E then called the Registrar's Office at 6:50, The Registrar's Office said they would send a team around to check it. "How am I supposed to vote?" she asked, to which they responded, they would "call her right back." They never called and Mary Efferen was unable to cast her ballot.

(c). Ms. E further complains that when her neighbor went out in the rain at 7:50 to vote at the same precinct, she found an open poll by accident, in spite of signs telling her to go the other way. She found a tiny handwritten sign that said vote here, and when she went in there was a flag and a poll. There was no flag outside. She remarked to another voter who was leaving, whom she knew, "I'm just mean enough to come out in the rain to vote no!" and when she went to vote, the poll worker, who overheard her, told her she might "not be able to vote here." She voted anyway.

(d). Doug Comstock (386-4934) precinct #3506 was enraged to find only one worker at his poll, an African- American man who was wearing 49er colors. When he asked why the man was alone with the ballot box, the worker responded that the other worker was at lunch and another had gone to the bathroom. Mr. Comstock went immediately to the telephone and called Germaine Wong, who said she would send someone right over. When Mr. Comstock went back to vote, the poll worker had returned from the bathroom and held up a book of what appeared to be instructions and said "I can't find it anywhere, that there has to be two people here all the time!" He continued to shuffle the pages of his booklet throughout Mr. Comstock's stay. When he tried to put his own ballot in the box, the man took it from him and looked at his voter card before putting it in the box.

(e). VH tried to vote as usual at her polling place at Chestnut and Webster, but found no poll there. She learned that it had been moved to 3630 Divisadero and she went there. When she got there, her name was not on the roll. Several neighbors seemed to have the same problem, they all had to vote provisionally.

(f). GK complained that they changed his poll location and when he went there to vote, he was not on the voter rolls, and was forced to vote provisionally. This has never happened to him before.

(g). AP described a serious incident that took place at about 8:30 am, at her poll near 1000 Post St. She insists that the ballot box looked like it had been opened and then sealed again, because there were two seals, the top one almost concealing the other. She observed the man voting before her using a pink provisional vote, but when he handed it to the woman, she refused to seal the envelope or give him a receipt. When the man asked her to seal his vote, she said "they were busy," but he insisted and she finally consented. She refused to give him a receipt. "If you take the receipt off it won't be counted," she told him. When she voted Ann said the woman gave her the same excuse, and refused to give her a receipt. This upset her, because she had saved every receipt for every election she ever voted. "Until this incident I had a pretty good confidence in the system," she said.

7. The Dead Shall Rise Up.

(a). MV concerned about deceased registered voters who may, in fact, still be on the voter rolls, and the ease with which someone might "vote for them," called the Health Department to get a list of those who may have died in the last two years, planning to turn it over to Committee investigators. She was told "that is not possible" by a clerk working for Ed Hernandez. The clerk told her that the Department sends over a list of the dead to the Department of Elections quarterly, however, they are behind right now, "over 6 months behind?" Ms. Verges asked. "Probably" the clerk responded. "Over a year?" she queried. "I am not at liberty to give out that information," the clerk responded.

(b). JD concerned that the death statistics may be being kept secret to prevent comparison by neighborhood investigators working with the voter logs, filed a Sunshine request with the Health Department. The Health Department responded that they have been advised by City Attorney Louise Rene, that the records are not covered by the Sunshine Act. Mr. Dunbar has filed a request under public access acts to obtain the record. The Health Department is awaiting instructions from the City Attorney.

There are approximately 8,500 deaths in the city per year. If the voter rolls have not been purged in two years there could be thousands of votes waiting for unprincipled cheaters. When asked about the last time voter rolls were purged using the records from the Health Department, Ms. Wong was noncommittal, "they are removed as we learn about them" she said. There are knowledgeable estimates that there may be as many as 15 to 20 thousand voters who should be removed because they are not among us anymore. When these are added to those who have moved, it may be an unimaginable number. Of the 400,000 registered voters, the largest turnout was 226,000 in the last presidential election, raising the question of the other 175,000. If the City Attorney, the Health Department and the Department of Elections persist in this cover-up, state and federal authorities must be requested.

8. Official City Partisanship.

The City Charter: Sec. 3.100 "The Mayor... shall serve full time in that capacity. The Mayor shall devote his or her entire time and attention to the duties of the office, and shall not devote time or attention to any other occupation or business activity." Mayor Willie Brown has instead spent full time as spokesman for the private, for-profit 49er's. "He's on this (stadium campaign) every day, all day on some level, "says Kandace Bender, Brown's press secretary. "Everywhere he goes he talks about the stadium. Today he had a class of fifth-graders in his office to talk about city government, and he gave them a pitch for the stadium. He told 'em, 'I know you can't vote, but get your parents to vote.' " This unparalleled diversion of official responsibility prior to the election was far outdistanced during the election, and included the following known violations of nonintervention in partisan elections:

(a). City employees were "strongly encouraged" to take election day off at the City's expense to work GOTV (get out the vote) for the pro-stadium forces. Commissioners and appointed officials, who serve at the whim of the Mayor, know these are buzz words which merely veil a threat to their promotion or even their livelihood.

(b). Many of those City Officials used City vehicles to drive around to polls to get out voters. Photographs of this are in our possession.

(c). A special Official Vehicle placard was used to allow preferential parking for Yes on D & F GOTV workers, and Department of Parking and Traffic managers instructed employees to issue no tickets to cars bearing the placard, unless they were parked in hazardous positions.

(d). Visitacion Valley community activist MT may be typical of the dilemma that presented itself to citizens who felt pressured, directly or indirectly, by the Mayor's influence. When Malik Lopez from the Mayor's Office of Community Development called and asked her to organize a community rally for the 49er's stadium/mall among her neighbors, she refused. "I see no benefits whatever for my community from such a thing," she said. "I felt I was being pressured because I had filed a request for a grant from that agency." It will be telling to see if her grant is requested.

(e). Votes were counted by partisans from the Mayor's Offices. The hands-on counting was carried out at the direction of Steve Nelson, Director of Administrative Services from the Mayor's Office, rather than the Chief Administrative Officer, Bill Lee, the City's independent office, which usually carries out the procedure. Political operatives Georgia Dunne and Jill Lerner, both of the Mayor's Office, were supervising election workers. A video was taken of Nelson actually operating a vote counting machine.

(f). Samson Wong, was a "ballot counting monitor." Mr. Wong is a long time employee of Jack Davis, campaign manager for the Yes on D & F issue. Other known pro-stadium partisans had unlimited access to the counting process, which was denied to others whose position was not similar.

(g). In the extremely close tally, the forgoing were critical factors. Especially when it was discovered that in four of the waterproof strong boxes the ballots had "gotten all wet," according to Director of Elections Germaine Wong. These mysterious "wet ones" were removed to an undisclosed area to be micro-waved dry. It is unknown how they were then passed through the machines.

(h). The Yes on D & F tally took a sudden, unprecedented 8 point surge with report #8 at around midnight. These ballots were from trucks that took almost three hours to get from polling places in areas diversely located throughout the city. "Traffic snarls due to rain" were cited. No such traffic problems were reported by media at the time, however. Trucks from Bayview and Visitacion Valley usually can drive straight down Third Street, a 10 or fifteen minute trip at most. However, when 39 safeboxes of secret ballots are logged in after 11: pm--three hours after polls were closed, with the final arrival at 11:38 pm, even the most gullible citizens must ask the simple question. Where were they?

(i). The official explaination for the last minute surge, that late arrivals reflected a high Yes on D & F approval by voters in the Bayview-Hunters Point, Ingleside and Excelsior districts, seems highly unlikely in light of the rejection by the Mayor and 49er officials of the binding Memorandum of Understanding drawn up by leaders in the Bayview-Hunters Point community to guarantee in writing promises made by proponents of Yes on D & F. Many residents and leaders in the community thereafter became very vocal in their opposition.

9. Neighborhood Solutions

Because the Committee to Stop the Giveaway has always been active in neighborhood politics, we have a network of people talking to others in the Bayview, Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley and Excelsior, who all seem to be saying the same thing. There were massive irregularities on election day in those areas. Many are very interested in determining how their precinct tally was accomplished, since they know their neighbors, all voted against the stadium/mall (Propositions D & F).

(a). In Little Hollywood, for example, RO possesses a petition signed by almost every person in his precinct, regarding a neighborhood issue with Norcal, and he disputes the claim that his precinct (3031) which has suffered the brunt of traffic from the current stadium, and would suffer even greater traffic nightmares should the propositions pass, could have voted for the stadium by 155 to 99 - 64%. He also talked to and knows many of his neighbors and knows they were 90% against it. No residents displayed Stadium Jobs posters in their windows. He is anxious to compare signatures and get to the bottom of the vote count. He has also traveled every street and noted every existing address in his precinct. He believes it is his right to determine the legality of any election.

(b). In the Excelsior, RS, President of the Excelsior Improvement Association, a neighborhood homeowners group, conducted a vote of her groups members that showed 60 opposed and only 1 in favor, and all are voters. She was surprised that the Excelsior precincts reported any kind of plurality for the stadium/mall and has a network of retired seniors who are willing to contact every voter in their precincts. She is in possession of a signed petition of several thousand voters who opposed placing a home for "troubled youth" in their residential area. They are ready to compare signatures and do the homework to determine that their neighborhood has not been ripped-off.

There are similar key persons lined up in the Ingleside, Bayview, Hunters Point, etc. We are organizing neighbors to do the work that can only be done precinct by precinct, and we also have precinct workers, veterans of many elections, who have made thousands of calls to determine the vote in their precincts. They are ready as well, to ferret out the fraud neighbor by neighbor.

This election should be overturned, the records at the Department of Elections should be sealed and preserved immediately and federal inspectors should be employed. There is a general and pervasive crisis of confidence in the election process throughout the city. The Committee to Stop the Giveaway is still in the process of gathering complaints. They should be directed to Doug Comstock, 386-4934.

The Committee to Stop the Giveaway was formed in 1992. It is a public interest group of volunteer citizens opposed to the diversion of public resources to private, for-profit individuals, corporations or other entities. It is the view of Stop the Giveaway, that our inalienable right to an election, free from intimidation, governmental intervention and influence and secure in the confidence that one person, one vote shall be the uncompromised principle of our social foundation, must never be relenquished.