October 30, 2018

$310,000: San Francisco's Failed Voter Registration Drive

I always enjoy reading the Matier & Ross column in the San Francisco Chronicle.  And yes, I still get a printed newspaper delivered daily, two in fact:  the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Anyhoo, Sunday's Matier & Ross column was a doozy.

You see, in 2016, San Francisco voters passed a new law - the first in California - that allowed San Francisco residents who are not US citizens, including people living in the country illegally, to vote in San Francisco School Board elections.  The non US citizens had to be of legal voting age, live in San Francisco, and have at least one child under the age of 19.

The idea - not a bad one, in my opinion - was that this group of individuals were stakeholders in the San Francisco public school system, given they had at least 1 child under the age of 19 who presumably attended public school.

Okay.  So just how did this voter effort work out for San Francisco?

For the past 2 years, the City of San Francisco has spent $310,000 on this new program, designing a special voter registration form, and implementing voter registration drives.

$310,000:  San Francisco's Failed Voter Registration Drive

In the past 2 years, a whopping 49 people have registered to vote under this program.  That's a cost of $6,323 per signed-up voter.
And no idea if any those 49 people will even bother to vote in the upcoming midterm election, in which 3 School Board Seats in the San Francisco Unified School District are up for grabs.
Crazy!  $310,000 down the drain.  Another head shaking, only-in-California event.

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides tax, insurance consulting, and expert witness services to clients who have technical or complex concerns.   She has already voted by mail for the November midterm election.  👍  For more information about Mary and her professional services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts


  1. How can you find out if they vote? And how can they be certain they will not vote for other offices? Do they have to show ID? This is very risky.

    1. Voter information is public record, to some extent. If you know the name of the person, you can get information from the county election office as to the person's party affiliation and to their voting records - if they voted, but not how they voted. Given that these voters will have "special" registrations, I would expect you could publicly find out how many of the 49 vote in next month's election.

      Re: voting for other office, this registration supposedly gives the 49 people a ballot for only the school board seats (3) up for election in San Francisco. And no, no ID is required to vote.


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