tv [untitled] September 4, 2012 3:30am-4:00am PDT
ed-choice voting for local offices in the city and county of san francisco. supervisor campos: we have a presentation from jason fried. >> for brevity of time, i will skip over giving a full presentation. we've got comments back from the public and other folks better interested in this issue. we did do a little bit of an update in the report. you have the final version of the report in your packet for review. i did want to address a couple of the issues that were brought up at the last meeting to help address the questions that were asked. the first one was asked by commissioner pimentel:. it addresses the question of the
curiosity, how many people were ranked one or two or three people on the ballot? using his numbers, although there was an error in one of his lines. the percent under the rank 3, they are often little bit. -- those are often little bit. all of the other numbers are pretty close to the correct number. most folks tend to put three people but not all people do. there was a question as well about it being able to rank more people like portland maine, does it. their state law and what they do
there is they do not release any of the information other than the actual tabulations themselves. you can never look at the ballot images. there is no ability for us to look at any data and be able to -- look at any data. i cannot believe report back anything of good information other than after 60 days they destroy all of their ballots. i cannot report any other information than that. we did update a couple of the definitions. i do know there were some comments that came and that were outside the scope of what i was given to work on. some good information but it gets into the questioning of the analytics of ranked-choice voting. i submit the report to you.
if more work needs to be done, you can instruct me to do so. perhaps we forward this report to the department of elections and the elections commission for their review. i would be happy to do so if instructed by the commission. supervisor campos: do we have any comments, colleagues? why don't we open it up for public comment before we proceed? >> good afternoon commissioners. i appreciate all the work that has gone into this. i think it will add a lot to the discussion around ranked-choice voting. i would encourage you to explore a few more options.
you do have a section on voter turnout. it would be very easy to include voter turnout from september elections used in other cities. that information is readily available. we have already done a brief study on it. since that was -- it seems like including that information in your report would be of value. of course, you also have reported on over the votes in the elections. but your report only goes up through 2011. we just had a new election in 2012 the june 5 primary, and reports on statewide primaries. the 2012 primary elections, we saw a huge increase in net over vote. in the u.s. senate race, we saw
a rate that was four or five times higher than what we have seen for the mayor, for example. particularly in minority neighborhoods, it was even higher. it seems like it would make sense to include that information. that information is readily available. we already produced a report on it. there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not supervisors and office holders are winning with the majority. it seems to me that you were almost there in terms of producing a report that can respond to this. you just have to do what is called a whole contest analysis. we have done that sort of analysis. they are comparing the first round to last round. they did not compare first-round
to last round with rafik systems. if they did that, it is a simple analysis to do, you would see a whole different picture emerging. we have a report that we have done around ourselves. finally, i have another sheet that we have done on looking at things like the number of races that would decline in the winners of votes. with the runoff, eight out of 14 races the number of votes declined by quite a lot. that is an easy analysis to do. supervisor campos: thank you. >> i have copies i will leave with you. commissioner shmeltzer: are the reports on the web somewhere? >> some of them are.
thank you for the work you have been doing. supervisor campos: next speaker. >> thank you commissioners. i would like to thank the commissioners and staff on working to produce the reports. it will inform future discussions on how san francisco conducts its elections. i want to highlight three areas. for voter participation, the metric the report uses is not what most people understand asit also largely ignores the effects of low turnout elections inevitable with any runoff system.
as a result the historical comparisons failed to fully reflect the voter turnout. for over vote rates, the so- called multi candidate rate is calculated in a way that is not camp broke -- comparable. those contests have high rates of under the votes which are being used to inflate the denominator and reduce the rate reported. a comparable calculation would double the rate and should be included in the report as an alternative to what is there already. finally, the report provides a brief discussion of exhausted ballots. but only for ranked-choice voting.
they should be done also for exhaustive votes if the topic is included in the report. giving information only about ranked-choice voting reinforces the misconception that is unique to ranked-choice voting. a fair comparison with the alternatives would show ranked- choice voting does quite well in this regard. i would encourage you to either provide a fairer comparison or to take that topic out of the report altogether. thank you very much supervisor campos: next speaker. >> good afternoon. i was very thankful to see that all three of the proposed
repeals of ranked-choice voting did not go to the ballot this year. i want to reiterate what i wrote in an e-mail to the board of supervisors about to the votes that happened a couple of weeks ago. even the executive branch, even the mayor's office, it is crucial to have ranked-choice voting because when you have a runoff, even if you had ranked- choice voting before the runoff you create a situation where big money can dominate and win because all they have to do is get past that 51% mark. the more money they spend, the less likely it is that the voters will decide and money
will decide instead. a lot of people reference the 2003 race. what i remember about the 2003 race is because it was a runoff and because there was the threat of a green party member becoming the mayor of a major city, democratic leadership council in washington d.c. and everyone of its high-power leaders to shift that vote in san francisco. what i saw in that runoff election was not the people of san francisco deciding whether mayor was, but the democratic party in washington, d.c. deciding who the mayor was going to be. that is what runoffs do. they said to up for a situation mark corporate money and political power dominate an election.
-- a sets you up for a situation where corporate money and political power dominate an election. especially when you have these big blockbuster runoffs nonprofit groups, grass-roots groups cannot handle runoffs. it drains us of money and energy and resources. we could be using to help fix the budget problems connected more funding to homeless housing, aids projects environmental issues. i would like to thank mr. fried for his awesome work on this. i would ask that the lafco give mr. fried's some time to continue to do his work. supervisor campos: thank you. any other member of the public
who would like to speak on this? public comment is closed. colleagues, do we have any questions? i am wondering if you can respond to some of the points that were made in terms of adding more work to this report whether or not he is think that is necessary. i'm wondering if you have any thoughts. >> i will start off with mr. hill's comments. i lived for the top 20 cities in the united states with a system that had was separated. i could go back and look at
that. that is also tied to state offices. since we have our mayor and other citywide office is elected in a separate election i did not incorporate those cities into this mix. i believe there were three at of the top 20 that have a scenario where there are separated. if it was the desire of the commission, i could go back and add in all the other cities. i purposely excluded those because i wanted us to be more about a scenario like san francisco, where it is separated completely from everything else. as far as the primary i was only looking at november of general elections. if you want me to look at the primaries, that would require me to go look at every other primary prior to that. there is a different type of
voter turnout, so there is a little bit of a difference there. i do not think it ties -- over votes would be important for education purposes. i am not sure it is exactly there. but if the commission wishes to i to do that. there was a comment about first and last round information. i did not want to make a decision. there were people coming at me from about sides. -- both sides. i inc. first-round and final round to allow people to compare the two. i did not want to get in the middle of that discussion.
supervisor campos: anything else? >> i understand there were some comments made about how you looked at over votes or how many ballots being cast. i did get an e-mail about some of the concerns. i did look through all of those. they are not needed for this report. it got away from what i was tasked to do it for the report. i was tasked to look at a very analytical point. why are people voting the way they are voting? that gets away from a statistical analysis. i did not include that
information for that reason. i feel that we addressed what we could given the parameters the commission gave me. i have not had a chance to look at what was presented for the final point. it is always something we could do as a supplemental later on. supervisor campos: in terms of the point that mr. fried was making and you were talking about jurisdictions where they have elections that are tied to statewide offices do you have any response to that? >> new york city, for example, has september elections and even years and odd years. the election for mayor for example, there are no federal elections on the ballot. in minnesota, they use september elections in odd years.
it seems to me including those is comparing apples to apples. in terms of the state primary, all i was suggesting was using the most recent 2012 data because you are already using state primary. you already have said in the report. it stopped at 2010. including 2012, it would make sense. it is the most recent data. you already have a category for statewide primaries. you include the u.s. senate, the governor, and those races. >> we use the primary only as an example. there is nowhere else i use the primary information in our report for -- i never looked out
over votes in primaries at all. it just looks at primary's in general about 65% of winner- take-all. i could not use september's election if i wanted to keep that formats until i had november's numbers. >> if you think about it with a plurality election, if you compare everyone who votes for the top two, their ballots counted in the final round. everyone else who did not voted for those top two, it is similar to where their ballots has exhausted. it is this ironic thing that everyone is picking out exhausted ballots in making a
deal at of its and not realizing that all races have exhausted balance. the people whose votes did not go to one of the top two the only have one choice. if you are going to into an analysis, which you only do in the appendix it makes sense to extend that to other races. you will see these numbers are far higher than they are in contests. supervisor campos: that is a good point. >> what i have struggled with as i have been looking at this on that very item you have a different electorate and the primary and a different elector it in the general. you cannot guarantee that someone who showed up in the primary, there is no way to go back.
as someone moves or leaves they are removed from the system. i cannot go back and analyze how they voted five years ago. you could try to come up with a way, but i struggled with that. there is no way to know but people showed up. if you had 100,000 people show up in june and you had 200,000 people show up in november, you do not know how many of those 100,000 people did not show up in november. i cannot find a good way to do it when i was being cast -- as i was being fair to the numbers. supervisor campos: from my perspective, it is helpful for us to get the information that staff has compiled to the
relevant agencies. it is something that can form this discussion. i also know that there may be some additional questions along the lines that have been raised that could be included or issues that could be included as a part of the supplemental. my preference and i defer to colleagues, would be to simply finalize something with the understanding that there will be additional conversations. i know commissioner avalos is very interested in this. i do think that this information is very useful in addressing some of the concerns that have been raised. in some respects, i see the benefit of getting the information out there. supervisor olague: at some point and i know we are not in
a position to make this request, but i think it would be great for the department of the elections to have the opportunity to give us feedback on these findings. supervisor campos: that goes to the point that it may be -- the way i see this is that this is a reports that based on feedback we get from the elections commission from other members of the board of supervisors, there could be something additional that can be presented. i would expect that once something is presented i wouldn't they would come back to us and ask some questions. >> -- i would hope they would come back to us and ask some questions. >> we can give this report to anyone you wish. i am happy do it.
we cannot directly say we will come to present to you. they would have to invite us. supervisor campos: i do not know how you want to proceed. this is on the agenda as discussion and dyes and possible action item. -- discussion and a possible action item. if we move to accept this, it does not mean there is not additional supplemental work that cannot be added. is there any motion or recommendation? supervisor olague: i'd like to move that we basically approve this.
we should use this as an informational piece so that people did to understand the basics of some of the findings. supervisor campos: we have a motion to except the report with the understanding that there would be supplemental work that would be done in conjunction with some of the folks that are here. commissioner shmeltzer: i would second that. it is an informational item and it is useful. all of this, i think is useful for the public to get to understand better the more discussion and more information there is, the more people start to see different pieces of it. i think it is hard for people to understand all the implications.
supervisor olague: i think it lends objectivity to the discussion. i think this is a good place to start. supervisor campos: in terms of clarifying what happens. once we accept this, this would be presented to the various agencies that would have some interest in this whether the elections commission what else? cut that would be up to you to decide -- >> that would be up to you to decide. i do not know if there is anyone else. supervisor campos: as part of
accpeting lafco staff can work with the chair? is that ok? one of the things we should also notes there may be additional work that is done and additional information provided. as we have any other comments or thoughts, can we take that motion without objection? i want to thank mr. fried for the working. the work continues. i also want to thank mr. hill. and the other speakers. the last time we did a report on something we had a report on the issue of garbage collection. that was also an ongoing effort. we put out a report and there
was additional information provided. the hope here is that lafco can add to the ongoing discussion. i think it is important to get something out there with the understanding that it is not the end of the analysis. if you could please call item number 5. >> item #5 is public comment. supervisor campos: this is an opportunity for any member of the public to speak on any item that is not on the agenda. item number 6? >> item #6 future agenda items. supervisor campos: future agenda items? >> i wanted to make a quick note that we normally meet on the fourth friday of the month. next month, we will be taking a recess. we will be meeting again in
september. supervisor campos: by that time there will have been action. >> that would be my absolute hope, yes. supervisor campos: any member of the public wish to speak on this? >> item #7 is adjournment. supervisor campos: the meeting is a we wish everybody a happy friday and a good weekend. meeting adjourned.