Finishing touches for the Voters Guide


On Friday, August 6, the Ballot Simplification Committee worked late and finished its task for the November election. The morning started with a revised list of ballot measures and letters; this replaces the one we got yesterday, so letters used in Thursday’s post need to be changed. The new listing of letters and titles is posted on the Election Department website.    

The first order of business was to go through the remaining Requests for Reconsideration that had been sent to the Committee. The Charter Amendment concerning the City Retirement and Health Plans generated two lengthy requests—one of them from the S.F. Labor Council was 7 pages long (Requests for Reconsideration are posted at ). The Committee spent more than three hours reviewing suggested changes, listening to advocates of various changes in wording, and making a few adjustments to the text. After hearings were completed, a new draft text was adopted. Then the Committee took a break for lunch.

The afternoon session began with a review of the “Words You Need to Know” section of the Voters Guide. The new words to be added had been identified as the ballot measures were reviewed. They include terms the average voter might not understand, such as the definition of a “Municipal election” and “Legally-recognized caregiver”. The Deputy District Attorney had suggested definitions for the words or terms and the committee, reviewed and made changes. They also reviewed the words included in the Voters Guides of the last four elections and decided which ones are still needed and which are unnecessary this year.

An unscheduled appearance by the originator of one of the ballot measures required another lengthy discussion about the possibility of last-minute changes. The Committee decided it could not reopen a review of the measure in the absence of a formal Request for Reconsideration filed during the allocated City time limits.

The Committee thanked their indispensible support team: Mollie Lee, Deputy City Attorney, and Barbara Carr, Clerk, for their knowledgeable and cheerful help. They then celebrated the completion of their work by going to a nearby Chevy’s for a drink.

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