The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

On-campus voting lags ahead of deadline

A lakeshore polling center sat empty Tuesday morning during the first of San Francisco’s special elections that total $12 million in taxpayer money
Maximo Vazquez
Empty polling stations in Annex Building 1 at SF State on Feb. 15. Voters in the city were able to vote on the school board recall and Assembly District 17 primaries. (Maximo Vazquez / Golden Gate Xpress)

Despite being eight months away from reelection, San Franciscans cast their votes Tuesday whether or not to recall three school board members. Voters will also elect their choice of state assembly representative.

Supported by Mayor Breed, Board President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga and Commissioner Alison Collins are on the recall ballot. Parents criticized the San Francisco Unified School District board after it focused on renaming schools instead of reopening during the pandemic. In March of last year, some of Collins racist tweets resurfaced and faced backlash from the community.

Four other members were on the ballot but failed to meet the eligibility requirement for a recall, not having served a full year on the board. 

Some San Franciscans were also eligible to vote in the Assembly District 17 primaries, with candidates including the city’s District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, San Francisco Democratic Party Chair David Campos and political up-and-comer Bilal Mahmood.

Despite being settled between Lowell High School, a major talking point of the recall, and Lakeshore Elementary, zero voters had cast their ballots or dropped-off their mail-in ballots at the polling center at SF State around 3 p.m.

Poll workers sat in chairs, reading books and scrolling through their phones, waiting for some action. Mel Washington, in a navy shirt and lanyard with the word “inspector,” would occasionally peek into the street in search of pedestrians.

The Gubernatorial recall was the first election that he worked for, Washington said. He had been asked if he could work the next recall and Washington said yes. He arrived early, some minutes before 6 a.m. to set up with his fellow poll workers. 

For Caryn Matters, working at the polls was something she’d always wanted to do. She described her first experience as “a little disappointing.”

While she didn’t expect a huge turnout, Matters hoped to see at least a dozen voters throughout the day. Instead, they were met with none.

“​​I really do believe that in a democracy, we should have like 80-to-90% turnout, and this is really disheartening.” Matters said. 

Washington told Xpress that it would be better for recalls to happen during regular elections, adding “it would save taxpayers a lot of money.”

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About the Contributors
Anaïs-Ophelia Lino serves as city editor and this is her third semester on Xpress. She is a senior at SF State and in her final semester. She feels bittersweet leaving the department but is grateful for what she's learned. She is working as a newscast intern at KQED this semester. She aims to highlight femme voices in her work and covers topics like city politics & policy, immigration and music/movies.
Maximo Vazquez (Any Pronouns), is a 21-year-old fourth year SF State Student majoring in Photojournalism and minoring in Spanish. Originally from La Mirada, California, Maximo is set to be graduating in the spring of this year and will pursue a career in documentary and editorial photography.

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On-campus voting lags ahead of deadline