11/08/2011 11:29 am ET Updated Jan 07, 2012

San Francisco Votes For Mayor, District Attorney, Sheriff And Eight Ballot Measures (LIVEBLOG, POLL)

Update:With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ed Lee is still way out in front but a ranked-choice voting shakeup could put John Avalos or possibly even Dennis Herrera into contention owing to an "anybody but Lee" sentiment. Ross Mirkarimi and George Gascon both sit atop their respective races.

As it stands right now: Both bond measures passed. The pension reform measure supported by everyone but Jeff Adachi passed while Adachi's failed. Voters decided they didn't want the Board of Supervisors reversing their decisions. The city's campaign finance laws will stay the same, as will the city's sales tax. Now there's a non-binding resolution encouraging the San Francisco public schools to send kids to the closest one to their homes.

Update:With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Ed Lee's lead has again constricted slightly with his share of the vote dropping to 31 percent and John Avalos's rising to 18 percent. Dennis Herrera has stayed constant at 11 percent.

Ross Mirkarimi's share of the vote in the Sheriff's race has grown to 37 percent. Competitors Chris Cunnie and Paul Miyamto are clustered at 28 percent and 27 percent respectively.

At 42 percent, George Gascon stands at nearly twice the level of support of his nearest competitors.

Update:With almost 60 percent of precincts reporting, Ed Lee's lead has shrunk to 33 percent with John Avalos's share increasing to 16 percent and Dennis Herrera moving up to 11 percent.

There seems to be almost no way Lee can reach the magic number of 51 percent of the total first place votes. This means there likely won't be a definitive answer as to the next mayor of San Francisco until at least tomorrow when the second and third place votes start to be tabulated.

Ross Mirkarimi has jumped to a 7 seven point lead over Paul Miyamoto for Sheriff and George Gascon still towers over Sharmin Bock and David Onek with 44 percent to each of their 20 percents.

Update: With 70,000 absentee ballots counted, Ed Lee is out to a commanding lead in the mayoral race with nearly 40 percent of the vote. Coming in a distant second and third are John Avalos and Dennis Herrera.

Similarly, George Gascon has 48 percent of the District Attorney vote to Sharmin Bock's 20.

The race for Sheriff sees Ross Mirkarimi and Paul Miyamoto virtually tied at 31 percent.


Elections in San Francisco are rarely simple, and this Tuesday's is no exception.

This year, San Franciscans have the opportunity to weigh in on who is going to be the city's next mayor, district attorney and sheriff as well as vote on a whole host of ballot initiatives ranging from bond measures to a fundamental restructuring of the pension system for city employees.


By far the highest-profile issue on the ballot is the fight over who is going to occupy City Hall's Room 200.

Initially, the battle was between virtually everyone working in local government. Then, when Interim Mayor Ed Lee went back on his pledge not to seek a full term and jumped into the race, it morphed into a battle between virtually everyone working in local government and Ed Lee.

With over a dozen candidates in the race and the newly-implemented instant run-off voting getting its first-ever serious San Francisco test run, the race has retained an unpredictable, anything-can-happen vibe despite Lee's substantial lead in the polls.

The race for District Attorney has taken on a similar shape to the mayoral contest, although to a much lower-profile and less chaotic extent.

Earlier this year, when departing Mayor Gavin Newsom needed to fill the hole in the District Attorney's office left by now California Attorney General Kamala Harris, he tapped San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon. Opponents have called the appointment problematic due to conflict of interest issues, and a few other candidates, including Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock and U.C. Berkley law enforcement scholar David Onek, have stepped up to challenge Gascon.

When popular, long-time San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey announced his retirement last year, he pegged progressive city supervisor Ross Mirkarimi as his successor; however, two other candidates--former police union leader Chris Cunnie and Sheriffs Department Captain Paul Miyamoto--have jumped in the race, giving Mirkarimi a run for his money.

On the ballot measure front, the voters are faced with eight choices:

Prop A - A $531 bond measure funded by a parcel tax going toward the upgrade of public school facilities.

Prop B - A $248 million bond measure to fix potholes and repave deteriorating streets.

Prop C - A measure reforming the city's system of government worker pensions.

Prop D - A different measure reforming the city's system of government worker pensions. For the difference between Props C and D check out this in-depth analysis.

Prop E - A measure giving the Board of Supervisors the ability to amend or repeal initiatives passed by voters.

Prop F - A measure modifying the rules for when political consultants have to publically report their lobbying activity.

Prop G - A 0.5 percent increase in the city's sales tax that needs a two-thirds supermajority of support in order to pass.

Prop H - A non-binding measure discouraging elementary and high school students in San Francisco from attending public schools other than the ones closest to their homes.

Check this SFGov website for the location and hours of your nearest polling place.

Latest updates on our liveblog: