An Elections Commission shall be established to oversee all public federal, state, district and municipal elections in the City and County. The Commission shall set general policies for the Department of Elections and shall be responsible for the proper administration of the general practices of the Department, subject to the budgetary and fiscal provisions of this Charter. These duties shall include but not be limited to approving written plans prior to each election, submitted by the Director of Elections, detailing the policies, procedures, and personnel that will be used to conduct the election as well as an assessment of how well the plan succeeded in carrying out a free, fair and functional election.
The Commission shall consist of seven members who shall serve five-year terms. No person appointed as a Commission member may serve as such for more than two successive five-year terms. Any person appointed as a Commission member to complete more than two and one-half years of a five-year term shall be deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have served one full term. No person having served two successive five-year terms may serve as a Commission member until at least five years after the expiration of the second successive term in office. Any Commission member who resigns with less than two and one-half years remaining until the expiration of the term shall be deemed, for the purposes of this section, to have served a full five-year term.
The Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney, the Public Defender, the District Attorney, the Treasurer, and the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District each shall appoint one member of the Commission. The member appointed by the Mayor shall have a background in the electoral process. The member appointed by the City Attorney shall have a background in elections law. The member appointed by the Treasurer shall have a background in financial management. The members appointed by the District Attorney, Public Defender, the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District, and the Board of Supervisors shall be broadly representative of the general public. In the event a vacancy occurs, the appointing authority who appointed the member vacating the office shall appoint a qualified person to complete the remainder of the term. All members initially appointed to the Election Commission shall take office on the first day of January, 2002.
The initial terms of Commission members shall expire according to the following guidelines: the term of the members appointed by the Mayor and the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District shall expire on January 1, 2003; the term of the members appointed by the Board of Supervisors and the Treasurer shall expire on January 1 2004; the term of the member appointed by the City Attorney shall expire January 1, 2005; the term of the member appointed by the Public Defender shall expire January 1, 2006; and the term of the member appointed by the District Attorney shall expire January 1, 2007.
Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation. Members of the Commission shall be officers of the City and County, and may be removed by the appointing authority only pursuant to Section 15.105. During his or her tenure, members and employees of the Elections Commission are subject to the following restrictions:
Restrictions on Holding Office. No member or employee of the Elections Commission may hold any other City or County office or be an officer of a political party.
Restrictions on Employment. No member or employee of the Elections Commission may be a registered campaign consultant or registered lobbyist, or be employed by or receive gifts or other compensation from a registered campaign consultant or registered lobbyist. No member of the Elections Commission may hold any employment with the City and County and no employee of the Elections Commission may hold any other employment with the City and County.
Restrictions on Political Activities. No member or employee of the Elections Commission may participate in any campaign supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure that will appear on the San Francisco ballot, other than candidates seeking election to federal or statewide office. For purposes of this section, participation in a campaign includes but is not limited to making contributions or soliciting contributions to any committee, including general purpose committees; publicly endorsing or urging endorsement of any candidate or ballot measure; or participating in decisions by organizations to participate in a campaign.
If a person appointed to the Elections Commission is, at the time of appointment, an officer or employee, as prohibited by this section, that person shall be eligible to serve on the Elections Commission only if he or she resigns from his or her office or employment within thirty days of appointment.
(Added November 2001; amended November 2002)