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San Francisco DA Launches Election Fraud Hotline

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A California polling place

Voters cast ballots at a California polling place (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced Monday the creation of a hotline that will allow city residents to report election fraud.

“Democracy depends on having good, clean elections,” Gascon said this morning at a news conference at the Hall of Justice, where he was joined by John Arntz, director of the city’s Department of Elections.

The number for the hotline—which is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin—is (415) 551-9548.

The line was set up by the district attorney’s office after prosecutors received numerous complaints during last year’s mayoral campaign, including one that is still pending in court, Gascon said.

In that case, two employees at GO Lorrie’s Airport Shuttles at San Francisco International Airport allegedly solicited fellow employees to write a check for Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign and then reimbursed the donors with company funds, according to Gascon.

Lee’s campaign returned the contributions after becoming aware of the allegations.

Gascon said his office has already received one complaint related to a supervisorial race in this November’s election, but declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

He said investigators from his office will be available to respond to complaints leading up to Election Day on Nov. 6.

Arntz said he has not seen widespread fraud during his 11 years as head of the Department of Elections, but said the hotline will put San Franciscans’ minds at ease and “show more transparency in the electoral process.”

A list of state and local elections code violations has been prepared by the district attorney’s office and is available on its website at www.sfdistrictattorney.org.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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