Reporting Barbara Taylor
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The San Francisco Director of Elections has sent letters to 251 political campaigns, candidates and committees spelling out the rules for filling out “Vote-By-Mail” ballots.
The letter follows allegations that some Ed Lee supporters are marking ballots of Chinese voters and now the district attorney is investigating.
The letter sent out by Elections Director John Arntz states it is illegal for anyone to fill out or return another voter’s mail-in ballot, the only exception is if the voter is disabled.
“Since the department can’t control the ballots like we can at a polling place, the law requires that the voters maintain the chain of custody,” Arntz said.
Witnesses claim they saw Ed Lee supporters set up ironing boards in Chinatown and assisting voters in casting their ballots for the incumbent mayor.
Arntz said offering information is one thing, but handling someone else’s ballot is improper.
“The voters must deliver those ballots themselves. They cannot go through an organization, a committee, or an individual,” he added.
Aside from those allegations, now Mayor Lee’s campaign is accusing opponent State Senator Leland Yee of intimidating Chinese voters by openly questioning the integrity of the election process.
Five of the major candidates in the Mayor’s race are Asian and the Asian vote is considered critical in this election.
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