Some bad news for #votemat

Let’s recap. On October 19, Mike Monteiro encouraged people to vote for me as write-in candidate for mayor of San Francisco. I went along with it, jokingly at first, but #votemat kind of exploded. It was all over Twitter, and even received a modicum of mainstream media attention. As it became apparent that a lot of people really seemed to want it to happen (which, I think speaks more to the field of candidates than myself) I started taking it more seriously. 

On October 24, I discovered that you can’t just be a write in candidate. The City of San Francisco won’t count write in votes unless the candidate files financial disclosure paperwork, and compiles a list of 20 signatures from registered voters. The deadline for getting all of that in? October 25. Yesterday was very much down to the wire, but I managed to get it done. Or so I thought.

Today I got the news that I’m out. Two of my 21 signatures were invalidated due to the wrong address. The signatures and addresses had to match the voter rolls exactly. I asked people to make sure they were doing so, but apparently we missed out. I should have gotten a few more, but I barely made it in before the 5 PM deadline. By the time I got to the Department of Elections to file, there was no time for me to double check. My fault.

So don’t vote for me. If you cast a vote for me as a write in, it won’t be counted. 

I should say, the people at the department of elections are very nice, and very helpful. They deal with a lot of bullshit. Please don’t give them any bullshit. 

My takeaway from all this is two-fold.

First: San Francisco is a tangled web of bureaucracy. People’s votes should be counted, even if they’re voting for, say, the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Second: There’s a reason #votemat exploded on Twitter: Nobody’s happy with our choices for Mayor. I tend to think that’s because all of the candidates have been playing it too safe, hoping to slide in thanks to the uncertainties of ranked choice voting. And it means the race is Ed Lee’s to lose. Here’s why that’s bad:

Ed Lee represents a third Brown administration. Newsom was essentially Brown’s protege and hand-picked successor. Lee is, without question, Brown’s hand-picked successor. He comes out of City Hall. He is the status quo. If you think the status quo in San Francisco is working, Lee’s a great choice.

I think it’s broken. I think our schools, our public transportation, our homeless population, our city services, and, well, a lot about the city is a mess. My perception is that City Hall is corrupt and inept. I think it’s time to start fresh.

But clearly, none of Lee’s opponents have been able to get people excited. None of them have convinced voters that they have answers to our entrenched problems.

There’s still time to do that. I hope someone can step up.

27 notes


  1. f6x reblogged this from emptyage
  2. njudah reblogged this from emptyage and added:
    Fucking SF.
  3. roshanvyas reblogged this from emptyage
  4. choire said: Good, now you can stop running. (Around the city.)
  5. emptyage posted this

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