Election 2011: How the Richmond District voted

I was away on vacation during election week, but kept an eye on the race from afar. When I returned, I had a nice email in my inbox from RichmondSFBlog reader SFBear, that included a link to a PDF document that breaks down who and what got the votes, by precinct and neighborhood.

So in the spirit of neighborhood self-interest, I thought you all might be interested to see how we voted on the issues. Here’s a quick recap of voting activity in the Richmond District for the 2011 fall election, which included positions for District Attorney, Sherriff, and Mayor, as well as several ballot measures (A-H).

  • Of the 35,909 registered voters in the Richmond District, 12,900 or 36% turned out to vote (18% in person at the polls, 18% by mail). That’s a little lower than the city average which was 40.67%. Overall, this was the lowest turnout ever for a mayoral election, which usually draws about 50% voter turnout.
  • In the District Attorney race, 41% of votes in the Richmond were cast for George Gascon which was in line with his margin overall (41.89%). Runner up with 21% of the vote was Sharmin Bock.
  • The votes for Sheriff were much tighter with Paul Miyamoto receiving 33% of the votes and Ross Mirkarimi receiving 32%, with only a 169 vote difference. Mirkarimi ended up winning the position after garnering 38.03% of the vote city-wide.
  • In the mayoral race, Ed Lee received 2.5x more votes than the second vote-getter, Supervisor John Avalos. Coming in third was Leland Yee, followed by David Chiu and Dennis Herrera.
  • Overall, the six Chinese mayoral candidates in the race – the most ever – collectively received 65% of the votes cast in the Richmond District. Ed Lee pulled in 36% of those votes versus the 31% he won with citywide.
  • The lowest vote counts for mayor went to Cesar Ascarrunz (21), Paul Currier (29), and taxi driver Emil Lawrence (29). And despite having her campaign headquarters here in the Richmond District, Joanna Rees only pulled in 289 votes.
  • Among the ballot measures, only votes on Measure H – School District Student Assignment differed significantly here in the Richmond District. 60% voted yes on the measure, which would place the highest priority on assigning each student to the school closest to home, after placing siblings in the same school. City-wide, only 50.1% voted yes on the measure.

Official election results can be viewed on the sfelections.org website, and if you want to check out how other neighborhoods voted on the issues, download the PDF (29MB, 280 pages).

And in case you weren’t registered in time for the election, don’t miss out on the next one – register today to vote.

Sarah B.


  1. @Mike – the turnout was sad indeed. I went to vote at 8:00am in the morning at the Rec Center on 18th and I was the only person there. There were 3 election staffer/volunteers on hand, so the ratio was quite off! Felt a bit like being in a twilight zone.

    People complain and complain about how the city manages its policies and money and yet can’t be bothered to do their part, not even once per year. All I can say is they deserve what they get.

  2. As I got accosted by a protester on Market Street mid-day on Election day, she said “what are you doing to support XXX – whatever her issue was – and I said “I voted today – did you?” She answered “I live in Oakland” …. so she’s willing to come & yell at people about her cause of the day, but not vote in her home city?!!!

  3. Wow! 36%….pathetic. This city, and our nation, are in for a world of hurt in the next 10-20 years. We had it for so good, for so long, that we forgot how we accomplished the good times.

    I didn’t vote for Ed Lee, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

  4. For a city as politically aware as San Francisco to have such a low voter turnout is very disappointing. The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy. We need to find out why so few voted and then work to improve turnout in the future.

  5. 36%!!?? Truly PATHETIC!!!

    I didn’t vote for Ed Lee either. Considering Willie Brown hosted his victory dinner which was attended
    by the very same lobbyists and contractors who greased Willie’s palms while in office, I don’t have any faith in Ed Lee at all.

  6. The voting site in the Richmond Library was really poorly marked. And by poorly, I mean there was no indication outside of the library that there was a polling station inside. I had to go inside the library (still no signs) and wonder around until I found the room that had been designated for polling. I wonder how many people shrugged and gave up, unable to find the site, which was a change from last year’s at the school.

  7. I voted. But one thing I notice is that it is not obvious, unless you are paying attention, what day you are supposed to vote. I knew the mayoral election was coming, but wasn’t sure of the date. It nuck up on me.

    What would be nice is if, 1 week before elections, the city would put up VERY large signs at intersections throughout the city, black on yell cardboard, that simply say VOTE: November 8

    Or something simple. Make them huge and obvious, and that little bit of marketing will help turnout hugely.

  8. @J good idea – or for it to be the biggest text on all those horrid door signs that get scattered all over our front stairs. If you are going to trash my stoop, at least make the date to vote the most important thing on your card. I would have forgotten, too, if a group of my friends hadn’t hosted a voting party.

    On that note – voting parties are GREAT ways to get out the vote. Invite over a group of friends and coworkers. Agree to disagree where necessary, but take a bit of time to talk over each of the candidates and props, perhaps assign each person to research 2-3 things. Then all vote together. Got 5 of us who may have forgotten to do it, and be relatively informed, too.

  9. Honestly, you need signs to tell you when to vote? That’s pathetic, the day never changes, it’s always the second Tuesday in November for general elections…everywhere. If you can’t figure that out then maybe you might not be informed enough to vote.

  10. Paul C. – and every year Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, but everyone (probably including you) has to ask when it is, every year. Same goes for a lot of other holidays throughout the year. Same goes for street cleaning times, and that happens every month.

    Perhaps you have enough time on your hands to sit there and count the Tuesdays, but not all of us do. It’s called a friendly reminder and it probably would have helped people plan ahead so they could have found the time to vote.

    Ease up, we can’t all be as informed as you.

  11. Pretty uninformed, Paul C…Election day is actually the Tuesday FOLLOWING the FIRST Monday of November. That’s why this year is was the 8th, while last year it was the 2nd.

  12. sheriff mirkarimi, really? 1.NO law enforcement experience 2. NO law enforcement experience, and 3. NO LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE..IDIOTS that voted for him! thanks! let’s hire someone who have NO background in L/E.. i hope ALL the people that voted for him don’t get mugged, assaulted, raped, etc, etc. mirkarimi wants to “PROTECT” the “CRIMINALS” while he collects his fat$$ paycheck. what a bunch of fools we have in this city. i feel bad for the hard working LAW ENFORCEMENT Deputies that have to work for that con artist.

  13. I like how people talk about the sheriff’s office like it’s important. I honestly do not see why the sheriff’s office can’t be folded in to the police department. The sheriff’s office runs the jails and the courts, correct? Why couldn’t this be done through the PD? It’s not as if the sheriff’s office is actually out policing anything. It’s more of an administrative position in SF more than anything.

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