FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   January 4, 2002
RE:   SF ballot box lid poster now on the Web

Hi Folks,

Last month I reported in our newsletter on a number of problems with the Nov. 6th, 2001 San Francisco municipal election (see the December 10, 2001 edition of CVF-NEWS for more details,

The most dramatic event occurred three weeks after the election, when the US Coast Guard fished eight absentee ballot box lids out of San Francisco Bay. (San Francisco Election Supervisor Tammy Haygood explained that the box lids had been washed at Pier 29, where some of the ballots had been processed, and left outside to dry, and must have blown off the pier during a storm.)

Now another San Francisco ballot box lid has been discovered, this one by Judith Selby, a California artist who lives in Marin. Selby and her partner, Richard Lang collect plastic trash from the beach and transform it into sculptures and art installations. Their work was recently profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle (see for the story and images of their art).

After learning about the eight other ballot box lids found by the Coast Guard, Selby and Lang, who runs a fine art printing press, decided to turn their lid into a poster, portraying the crumpled red lid with accompanying text that reads, "Cast Your Vote....Away".

So if you are curious about what these ballot box lids look like, you can now view one for yourself online at:

Here is an excerpt from Selby's statement that accompanies the image:

"No one is surprised when I tell this story. Most everyone laughs and affirms, "Of, course!" Cynicism is the norm....Tattered and torn, this wayward ballot box lid symbolizes for me the sad plight of our electoral process. So many questions about the ballots and the boxes remain. A full investigation is certainly warranted. I am sending my findings and the box lid to California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer because the truth is not disposable." -- Judith Selby

It's worth noting that when I was on the "Forum" radio program on KQED last month, nearly every person who phoned in to talk about the election was a San Francisco pollworker who said they saw lots of ways people could commit voter fraud in San Francisco. Perhaps they weren't fully informed about the entire election process and the safeguards taken to protect votes, but at the same time, if the pollworkers lack confidence in elections why should the voters be confident?

The discovery of another ballot box lid raises questions that need to be answered -- how many lids were left out on the pier to dry? How many more may be discovered? Hopefully Selby and Lang's poster and web image will prompt elected leaders and the appropriate agencies to investigate the string of irregularities in the November 6th, 2001 San Francisco election.

-- Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation, (916) 452-7706,

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This page was first published on January 4, 2002 | Last updated on January 4, 2002
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