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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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County

City and County of San Francisco
Measure N Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

203,413 votes yes (54.39%)

170,570 votes no (45.61%)

Shall the City allow a non-citizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age and the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by League of Women Voters San Francisco

The Question

Shall the City allow a non-citizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age and the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education?

The Situation

A similar measure was previously on the ballot in 2010 as Proposition D, as well as in 2004, and was defeated both times.

The San Francisco Unified School District operates public schools in San Francisco for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

The San Francisco Board of Education oversees the School District, including

  • establishing educational goals and standards;
  • approving curriculum;
  • setting the district budget;
  • confirming appointment of all personnel; and
  • approving purchases of equipment, supplies, services, leases, renovation, construction, and union contracts.

The Board of Education appoints a superintendent of schools, who is responsible for managing the day-to-day administration of the district.

The Board of Education has seven members who are elected by San Francisco voters to serve four-year terms. Elections for members of the Board of Education are held in November of even-numbered years.

San Francisco residents who are 18 years of age or older, United States citizens, and not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction are eligible to register to vote in San Francisco elections.

The Proposal

Proposition N would amend the City Charter to allow parents, legal guardians, or caregivers of children under the age of 19 to vote in San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education elections regardless of U.S. citizenship status, so long as the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver meets the City Charter’s minimum age requirements for voting in a municipal election, they are otherwise not disqualified from voting, and the child resides in the San Francisco Unified School District. “Caregiver” is defined in California Family Code section 6550.

This proposal would expire after the third election where non-citizens are permitted to vote for members of the Board of Education. However, afterwards, under the amendment, the Board of Supervisors could pass ordinances permitting non-citizens to vote for members of the Board of Education.

A “YES” Vote Means: If you vote “yes,” you want to allow a non-citizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age and the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education.

A “NO” Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to make this change.

Supporters say

  • Allowing non-citizens to vote on school board elections allows parents and others with or caring for children in San Francisco schools to have a voice in their education.
  • This would be a pilot program for expanding voting rights to non-citizens so they can be involved in community politics affecting their lives and their families: the proposition sunsets in 2022.

Opponents say

  • Changing voter qualifications for specific elections or issues creates confusion in administering elections.
  • This expands voting rights beyond what state law allows, creating questions about its legality.
  • Voting rights should remain a privilege of adult citizens.

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

Ballot Simplification Committee

The Way It Is Now: The San Francisco Unified School District operates public schools in San Francisco for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

The San Francisco Board of Education oversees the School District, including

• establishing educational goals and standards;

• approving curriculum;

• setting the district budget;

• confirming appointment of all personnel; and

• approving purchases of equipment, supplies, services, leases, renovation, construction, and union contracts.

The Board of Education appoints a superintendent of schools, who is responsible for managing the day-to-day administration of the district.

The Board of Education has seven members who are elected by San Francisco voters to serve four-year terms. Elections for members of the Board of Education are held in November of even-numbered years.

San Francisco residents who are 18 years of age or older, United States citizens, and not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction are eligible to register to vote in San Francisco elections.

The Proposal: Proposition N is a Charter amendment that would allow any non-citizen resident of San Francisco to vote for members of the Board of Education if the resident:

• is the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the School District, and

• is of legal voting age and not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.

Proposition N would apply to the November 2018, 2020 and 2022 elections for members of the Board of Education. The measure would expire after the 2022 election unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.

A “YES” Vote Means: If you vote “yes,” you want to allow a non-citizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age and the parent, legal guardian or legally recognized caregiver of a child living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education.

A “NO” Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to make this change.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

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