San Francisco Nov. 8 elections: New districts and need for bilingual poll workers

Election Day is November 8th, but voters are already checking off their ballots in early voting. The San Francisco Department of Elections' central voting center is accepting ballots and has voting booths open on the first floor of City Hall.

"We've received about 75,000 ballots so far. That's about 15% turnout," said John Arntz, the San Francisco Director Of Elections in San Francisco which has nearly 498,000 registered voters.

Arntz says there is one big change this November.

"For this election, it's our first election since the city re-districted in April," said Arntz, "That means some precincts have changed."

Also, Arntz says the number of polling places has decreased from 588 to 501.

"The polling places will still be within 5-6 blocks at the most," said Arntz.

Arntz says they were able to get the poll places staffed, but still have a need for bilingual poll workers in a city where people can register to vote in more than 12 languages.

"Six spots that we need Korean bilingual, but always if we have people who are Chinese bilingual, Spanish bilingual that's always helpful. Japanese bilingual is good too. We have a couple of polling places where Khmer is spoken," said Arntz.

On Election Day, the department also will place signs at the old polls directing voters to the new locations. 
Voters who have not registered still can vote by going to the first floor of City Hall, or going to a polling place on election day.

Those who do have ballots have several options for turning it in.

"As long as they get those ballots to back to us by election day or postmarked by election day, we can count those ballots," said Arntz.



Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or