D.A. Gascón, Department of Elections Announce Creation of Elections Fraud Hotline

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Crime, News, Politics

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Published on October 15, 2012 with 16 Comments

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

October 15, 2012

Following on the heels of a fruitless criminal investigation by the district attorney’s office into alleged vote fraud during last year’s race for mayor, District Attorney George Gascón and San Francisco Department of Elections Director John Arntz announced today the creation of an election fraud hotline.

“It is critically important to the Democratic process that our elections are free from fraud or even the appearance of fraud,” Gascón said in a press release. “Director Arntz and I are pleased to be working together on behalf of San Francisco voters to insure the integrity of the upcoming election.”

“I think these are great examples of the commitment that District Attorney Gascón and his office have to maintaining the public’s confidence in San Francisco’s elections,” Arntz added. “I commend his efforts and appreciate his dedication to safeguarding the election process.”

As part of the combined effort to root out election fraud and corruption, Gascón’s office has set up “a multi-lingual Election Fraud Hotline for members of the public to report possible incidences of election fraud from now until Election Day, and will make investigators available to quickly respond to complaints received by the District Attorney or the Department of Elections,” according to the press release. The Election Fraud Hotline number is (415) 551-9548. The hotline will be available in English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin.

The timely announcement may go some distance in assuring public confidence in San Francisco elections. In last year’s race for mayor, supporters of Mayor Ed Lee were alleged to have engaged in vote tampering and vote fraud. At a makeshift voting station in Chinatown, video showed station workers using stencils as ballot selection guides while voters marked absentee ballots. At least two witnesses observed station workers completing ballots on behalf of voters. A third witness observed the ballot facilitators stuffing the completed ballots into an orange bag.

It is against State law for anyone to submit a completed ballot on behalf of someone else. Exceptions to the law include family members or a designated member of the same household.

Gascón, who was appointed District Attorney by then Mayor Gavin Newsom and was running to be elected in his own right, was also on the same November 2011 ballot. Following an investigation into the alleged voter fraud in Chinatown, Gascón announced in September there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges.

Jim Stearns, a consultant who worked on the campaign to elect Senator Leeland Yee to the mayor’s office, said, with a hint of sarcasm, he is “excited” by today’s announcement.

“I’m very excited, and hope to be one of the first callers to report the video-taped absentee ballot fraud that took place in the Mayoral election in 2011 that the DA has failed to take action on,” Stearns said via email.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  • Vivian

    This is bizarre. On the surface, or course, it looks good. But there is little hope for legitimate follow-up when witnesses and videos count for nothing. Come on! They designed a template; that in itself should have been enough.

  • marcos

    Did you reprint this from The Onion?

  • DavidinSF

    Whoopee doo, we are saved. 

  • h. brown

    Ready to die?

        Now, you know me and I’m not one to cause trouble but it looks to me as though Gascon is collecting a list of people who know about election fraud so that he can pass the list on to Rose Pak who will pass it on to the Peoples Republic of China and a Ninja warrior will then visit you and kill you and your family and eat your family dog.

    Just sayin’

    Go Giants!

    h.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LSBUHQYPHL2GEESTZGNXZGB2EY sfsoma

    . “It is critically important to the Democratic process that our elections are free from fraud or even the appearance of fraud,” Gascón said in a press release”  This from  he man who turned his back on voter fraud that was done so blatantly in public Got a good laugh out of this preposterous idea.  George will appoint Willie Brown, Rose Pak and Mrs. Ed Lee as co directors of the commission.

  • strickla

    Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Gascon really does have no shame.

  • RickinSF

    If I had evidence of “voter fraud” committed in this county, Lonesome George would be the last person I would entrust it to.

  • h. brown

    reality?

        George hears 26,000 cases a year.   Around a dozen or so concern his political mentors.   He decides these in their favor.   Everytime.    However, in the other 25,988 cases, he’s better than Kamala and Terry before her.

    I said this a long time ago?

    Lemme hear those, “You were right, h.”.

    Not likely.

    Giants beat my hometown Cards 7-1

    I couldn’t lose.

    for Gascon …

    George, tend your own garden.

    Open a ‘cold case’ investigation into the battery charges against Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White?

    It would be fair.

    Kinda betting you don’t have the cajones to do that.

    Go Giants!

    h.

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      I suppose the statute of limitations has run out for Willie Brown to file an assault complaint against Chris Daly for popping him in the jaw.  Not hard to understand why he didn’t at the time: “Mayor Brown stabs homeless in the back, Supe Daly socks Brown.”

      • Richmondman

        Here’ why Willie didn’t  - even though Willie is 5’3″, and 125lbs soaking wet, whereas  Chris is bigger, heavier and a bigger bully - Chris is fly shit on the Willie’s windshield.

        • RickinSF

          No, he didn’t because no punches were thrown.

  • h. brown

    And, George,

       In the Hayes-White investigation you might want to include looking into the arson at the Fire Chief’s residence that the people of SF built on Bush Street just on a shoulder of Nob Hill so that the Fire Chief could always be near the center of action … they did this after the 1906 quake.

    She said she’d prefer to live on the outskirts of town and that the place should become a ‘Bread and Breakfast’ and so the City handed it to incoming department heads and then one of their lovers tried to burn the place down and then killed himself.

    One could almost argue that it would have been better to have had the Fire Chief living in the Fire Chief’s house than an arsonist lover with a grudge.

    But, again, that’s just me w/my Irish & German background.

    Maybe it is best to keep Hayes-White as far from fires as possible.

    Hey, I was a firefighter for 5 years and I did a Junior College Fire Technology Course.

    Let me live there and adopt out stray cats and dogs and other critters our of lobby.

    h.

  • PatrickMonkRn

    What a fucking joke. Gorgeous George slithering on down the slimy trail that Gavin the Greaser laid out for him. Not that I have an opinion one way or the other!! The ‘politics’ in this city are a sick joke, rivallng Chicago and Boardwalk Empire.
    h, nice to know that when you lose – you win. Ryan Rocks; Romo Rolls; Pagan is my angel headed hipster; and Posey – words fail me!!

  • Rob Anderson

    Gascon is a media slut and a lightweight. Except for Chinatown, is there any evidence of real fraud during our elections? We should start keeping score of the number of press releases that come out of the D.A.’s office. I bet he’s competitive with Leland Yee, whose office issues a press release every time he wipes his butt. 

  • h. brown

    Hey, enough of this shit!

        Annie, you’re lying!   No one in this town has been closer to the scene and Daly certainly did not hit Willie Brown.   This is the first anyone ever heard of such an allegation.    Are you off your meds?

    And, Richmondman.

    Why do you hate Willie Brown?

    He hasn’t been 5 feet three and 125 lbs since he was 12 years old in Texas.

    He’s around 5 feet ten and is a hefty 200 lbs (his present scale) and 175 in top light heavyweight.

    Worst thing is that you lied that Daly beat Willie?

    Could never happen.

    Willie’s a killer.

    Chris is a bullshitter.

    Go Giants!

    h.

    • RickinSF

      Chris has been accused of nearly every crime in the book. Regrettably, punching the then-mayor was not among them