vote_lede_template.jpgSFians who actually pay attention to their Voter Information Pamphlets, take note: something is not right in them. No, it’s not the candidates; the Department of Elections misprinted where to cast your votes on 115,000 Voter Information Pamphlets.

As Appeal reader Michael emailed us:

I live (address redacted) in District 9.
Election Pamphlet has my polling place at 31 Howth St.
This is in District 11!
This is 3 miles from my home!
Am I the only one ?
Or are there lots of others with such “totally wrong” polling places?

No, it wasn’t just you, Michael! According to the Department of Elections, instead of someplace convenient for those who live outside of Precinct 1118, which encompasses the area of Geneva Ave. and Howth St. in the Ingleside District, a “printing error” means that 31 Howth St. was the address to end all addresses in terms of polling places for 115,000 registered voters in SF.

San Francisco had 461,983 registered voters as of Oct. 1, but only voters who live in the area of Geneva Avenue and Howth Street should vote at that polling place on Election Day.

That means the department will have to send three correction notices to each of the residents who received the faulty information, director John Arntz said.

According to the Chron, those folks will need those corrections — all the mistaken notices went to people whose usual polling place has been eliminated for the upcoming election.

“When the vendor went to print the polling place, for some reason the information it drew was the same polling place” of 31 Howth St., Arntz said.

Arntz said the department discovered the problem on Friday night and were able to stop an additional 18,000 pamphlets that had the wrong polling place address from being sent out.

The error was apparently caused by ProVote Solutions, the city’s vendor who printed the ballots.

The website for ProVote Solutions, based in Porterville in the Central Valley, says the company prints election materials for 42 counties in five states and has been certified by California as an election printer for the past six years.

Arntz said, “I’m not expecting for the city to have to pay” for the cost of sending out the corrections, saying he will discuss the issue with the vendor.

The correction notices will be sent out on a letter-sized postcard with each voter’s correct polling place address, Arntz said. The first notice will be sent this week, another will be sent in two weeks, and the last one will be sent the week before the election.

Arntz said voters unsure of where to vote can use the polling place lookup module on the department’s website at http://gispubweb.sfgov.org/website/pollingplace.

Anyone with questions about the election can also call the department at (415) 554-4375.

The Nov. 8 election will decide the city’s new mayor, district attorney and sheriff, as well as several propositions concerning pensions for city workers and bonds for the city’s schools and roads.

Dan McMenamin of Bay City News contributed significantly to this report

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • DT

    Just vote by mail; become a Permanent Absentee.

    I became a Permanent Absentee the day it became available for everyone because I got tired of hunting down the new locations of my polling place while passing by four, five or six polling places open for other precincts.

    As more and more residential garages are turned into illegal housing units there will be even fewer polling places available.

    Interesting to note that barely half of SF’s population is registered voters.

  • DT

    Just vote by mail; become a Permanent Absentee.

    I became a Permanent Absentee the day it became available for everyone because I got tired of hunting down the new locations of my polling place while passing by four, five or six polling places open for other precincts.

    As more and more residential garages are turned into illegal housing units there will be even fewer polling places available.

    Interesting to note that barely half of SF’s population is registered voters.