Candidate slapped in face by stranger while campaigning in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - In this non-presidential election year, the fate of candidates and ballot measures could hinge on who gets more people to the polls or mail-in ballots to the mailbox by Election Day.

"Everything we're seeing is running along the lines of similar elections in the past and that'd be about a 42% turnout," said John Arntz, the San Francisco Department of Elections Director.

Monday evening, candidates were vying for votes on Polk Street in the District 3 Supervisor battle. Supporters of Aaron Peskin standing on corners waving signs.

Supervisor Julie Christensen also was out campaigning on Polk Street, fighting to keep her appointed seat. At 4:12 p.m., however, she had an unwelcome encounter when a stranger slapped her in the face.

Her campaign says she was not injured. Police say the assault appears to be random, not political and police say they located the suspect who appeared to have a mental illness. The woman was taken to the hospital for evaluation

It was a disruption on an day when candidates were working hard to get out the vote.

Across town at the Forest Hill Muni station, another candidate was out late into the evening. Former Chief Deputy Sheriff Vicki Hennessey is the main challenger as Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi seeks re-election. Mirkarimi has been in the national spotlight after the Pier 14 shooting for his handling of the sanctuary city policies.

Elections director John Arntz says while it's difficult to predict turnout at the polls, the trend shows the majority of votes will probably be cast by mail.

"The last time we had more than 50% of the ballots cast at polling places, was the 2008 presidential election. Ever since then, we've had more people voting by mail, than voted at the polling places" Arntz saiid.

"Sixty percent of the votes will be by mail voters and 40% will be from the polls," Arntz explained.

San Francisco's Department of Elections is launching a new system of web cameras on Election Day that will allow people to watch the ballots being counted from their computer or mobile device.

The web cameras are positioned at city hall, the ballot storage warehouse, and other key spots along the ballot intake route. People will be able to watch the live-stream from the official website sfelections.org.

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