Quarter of city's voter pamphlets sent out with wrong info

October 11, 2011 10:50:51 PM PDT
A printing error caused the San Francisco Department of Elections to send out the wrong polling place address on roughly a quarter of the city's voter information pamphlets for the November election, the department's director said today.

About 115,000 pamphlets sent out to voters have a single polling place near City College of San Francisco -- 31 Howth St. -- as the location they should go to vote on Nov. 8.

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.

Today was the deadline for when the Department of Elections had to send out the voter information pamphlets.

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 city is consolidating precincts for the election, and "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.

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.

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