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Monday, November 3, 2008

Voter Suppression in San Francisco? You Decide!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 4:56 PM

An animated video by Matt Smith

A new SF Weekly investigative documentary film explores the possibility that San Francisco's city government may have engaged in vote suppression!

Political activist and musician Alex Wise thought he'd free up his extremely busy Obama-helping Tuesday by voting at San Francisco's City Hall. He arrived to find that city officials were telling people to stand out in the pouring rain for up to 25 minutes, so that they could let voters into the vast, mostly empty, City Hall basement in groups of 10 -- as if they were kids entering a jumpy-house.

Given that Wise makes a specialty of battling Republican efforts to prevent people from voting, he found it ironic that San Francisco -- whose voters could tilt voting on a certain anti-gay-marriage proposition -- would stifle suffrage out of sheer stupidity.

Once he got in, Wise begged several officials to let the soaking wet line outdoors inside. He feared that residents planning to vote might drive up to City Hall, see the line of poor saps being soaked to the bone, and keep on driving.

One of the officials "said you should put a comment in room 482, and sign it. I said, 'We need to do this right now. You’re deterring people from voting right now.' I was really worried," Wise said. "The other excuse was that there was a private party downstairs, so they needed to leave room."

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Matt Smith

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