Mar 6, 2024 - Politics

What happened in San Francisco's primary election

two people walk up to voting drop box outside city hall

Voters drop off their ballots at a drop box outside San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

San Francisco voters have weighed in on ballot measures related to housing, police staffing, surveillance and more.

Why it matters: The city has well-documented issues with affordable housing, drug use and public safety, which has resulted in division among moderates and progressives in the city regarding how to address these contentious topics.

  • Turnout was at nearly 21% but is expected to climb as more ballots are counted.
  • In March 2020, turnout reached nearly 61%.

Here's where the local propositions stand, according to the city's elections department's latest preliminary results.

  • Of note: Each measure requires a simple majority to pass, except for Prop. A, which requires nearly 67% affirmative votes to pass.

Proposition A: Affordable housing

Asks voters whether the city should issue $300 million in bonds to fund affordable housing construction amid a state mandate to build more than 46,000 affordable homes by 2031.

  • 67.7% supported, 32.3% opposed.

Proposition B: Police staffing

A controversial measure that seeks to set minimum staffing levels for the city's police department, potentially diverting tax revenues from other sources or creating a new tax.

  • Proponents say the measure would help the police department address staffing shortages, while some critics argue police staffing levels have little impact on reducing crime.
  • 67.4% opposed, 32.6% supported.

Proposition C: Office-to-housing conversions

Designed to incentivize office-to-housing conversions amid San Francisco's climbing office vacancy rate, this measure would implement transfer tax exemptions the first time commercial buildings are transferred to new owners for residential purposes.

  • 53.9% supported, 46.1% opposed.

Proposition D: City ethics rules

Aims to expand the list of gifts city employees are prohibited from accepting and prohibit city employees from accepting "anything of value for themselves or a third party with the goal of influencing any government action."

  • 88% supported, 12% opposed.

Proposition E: Police surveillance, vehicle pursuits

Another controversial measure that would enable the police to chase people suspected of committing felonies or misdemeanors, use drones for car chases, and install public surveillance cameras with facial recognition technology.

  • Proponents argue the measure would help police prevent and solve crime, while opponents say police chases are dangerous and that surveillance tech unjustly targets communities of color.
  • 60% supported, 40% opposed.

Proposition F: Welfare drug screening

If passed, anyone who receives financial benefits from San Francisco's County Adult Assistance Program could be subject to drug screening.

Proposition G: Eighth-grade algebra

Would make it city policy to encourage the school board to resume teaching algebra in eighth grade.

  • The school board last month already approved a plan to offer eighth-grade algebra beginning next school year.
  • 84% supported, 16% opposed.

What to watch: The city's elections department plans to release its next update Wednesday at 4pm.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that 67.4% of voters opposed Proposition B and 32.6% of voters supported it.


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