Sunday, June 15, 2014

Department of Elections Misses Own Recording Deadline?

On Thursday, two days after the Department of Election informed me I was certified to be on the November ballot in the District 8 Supervisorial race, this email was sent to me and other candidates from Savier Fong of the department:

As a friendly reminder, all candidates are required to call 415-554-xxxx to record their name as it would appear on the ballot, including the office they are seeking.

This voice mail recording should have been done no later than 5:00 PM on the day of nomination deadline (6/10/14).

Since the nomination deadline has passed, please do so at your earliest convenience. When you record, please pronounce your complete name and office that you are seeking slowly and clearly.

This procedure will ensure the correct pronunciation of the candidate's name when setting up the audio ballot and recording of election results.

Since this was the first I learned about yet another requirement to fulfill in running for elective office, and the department had included the addies of the other candidates, I hit reply to all asking if we would be penalized for missing the recording deadline. David Carlos Salaverry, a challenger in District 6, gave me a chuckle about my misspelling a name when he wrote back to everyone:

Thanks for the heads up. I left my name in the DOE vmail box per the instructions. I thought [your email] was spam mail when I saw "Savior" at the top ... that or Jesus was emailing me. It's Savier ... but definitely no penalty box, your eblast was helpful for all.

After a few trips to the department and phone calls to the workers, asking if I had taken care of all necessary tasks, the recording was never mentioned.

We candidates soon received this clarification from Naomi Briley at the department:

The previous email was a courtesy reminder, as a follow up to the acknowledgement form you signed during the nomination process, with deadlines and the process for recording your name for the audio ballot. There was no omission of this information by the Department. The purpose of recording your name is to ensure correct pronunciation. If you choose not to record your name, you will not be penalized. Our staff will record it for you. 

As a first time candidate for public office, it's been quite a maze of paperwork and such to navigate with the Department of Elections and Ethics Commission, and other newbie challengers have expressed frustration and confusion with getting on the ballot.

San Francisco democracy would be enhanced greatly if all parties and their chartered clubs held training sessions to guide potential protest candidates and more serious opponents, to give pointers on overcoming hurdles. 

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