Election 2020: San Francisco ensures safe and secure voting

San Francisco unveiled its new voting center today as part of the county's rollout of its safe voting plans.

Political leaders and the city's director of elections spoke in front of San Francisco's new outdoor voting center located in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Safety and election security during COVID-19 were among the themes they touched on. 

San Francisco Director of Elections John Arntz said the entire process is monitored from beginning to end. 

"Voters should have absolute confidence in the process and this whole narrative around voter fraud, vote by mail fraud, it's just not something I've seen in the 20 years that I've been director of elections here in San Francisco," said Arntz.

The director of elections said poll monitors are welcome to observe, but poll workers and voters have a say in whether it crosses the line to voter intimidation. 

"The observes cannot interfere with the voting process, they cannot create an intimidating atmosphere," said Arntz. "And really it's not for the observers to make the decision."

He also said he has worked with the postal service to make sure ballots can and will be processed quickly. The department of elections saying there are no credible threats to election security, and his office has full confidence the results of the upcoming election will be legitimate.

KTVU reached out to other counties around the Bay who expressed similar confidence in voting security. Napa county said in a statement that read in part "Napa County voters know that voting by mail is secure, easy and safe because they have been voting by mail for the past 12 years." And Santa Clara County said, "We have numerous safety measures to ensure an accurate and transparent election process.”

San Francisco election officials said its new voting site, along with the 588 in-person voting locations around the city, will undergo regular cleaning, and there will be sanitizer and protective gear for election workers.

 "The department and the city have taken steps to make sure that voting is a safe and healthy experience for all voters in San Francisco," said Arntz.

Voters in San Franciscans can expect to start receiving ballots next week.