Leanna Louie, a candidate running for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, will no longer be included on the ballot for the upcoming elections after failing to provide sufficient proof of residency.
The City Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into Louie’s “legal domicile” after a Mission Local report pointed out that she registered her District 4 residence on May 7 to vote. Twenty-seven days later, she declared her candidacy on June 3.
To be eligible to run for a Board of Supervisors seat, candidates must “reside and be registered to vote in their district for at least 30 days immediately preceding the date he or she files the Declaration of Candidacy,” according to the Department of Elections’ Candidate Guide.
“After reviewing the information gathered from the City Attorney’s investigation, the Department of Elections considers Leanna Louie’s nomination petition to be insufficient,” Elections Director John Arntz said in a news release. “The Department will not place her name on the ballot for the upcoming November 8 election.”
Investigators noted that Louie signed a lease for a room at 35th Avenue in District 4 on March 1 and registered that address to vote on March 8. They then discovered that her vote-by-mail ballot for the April 19 special election was sent to her family’s home in Bridgeview Drive in District 10 on April 3.
“Ms. Louie has provided very little information to us about her actions between April 3 (when Ms. Louie voted and attested to her residency at Bridgeview Drive in District 10) and May 3 (30 days before declaring her candidacy in District 4),” the memorandum sent to Arntz read.
Louie and her family reportedly moved to Bridgeview Drive in 1986 when she was still a minor. She then left their home after joining the Army in 1990. Her father and brother are still living in their District 10 home to this date, according to the memorandum.
In an interview with investigators on Aug. 22, Louie admitted that she did not start staying at 35th Avenue until March 24.
Investigators also noted last week that Louie had failed to change her driver’s license address and mailing address from her Bridgeview Drive home to her District 4 residence.
City Attorney David Chiu said in a recent statement that candidates can have several residences but only one legal domicile.
“I appreciate that determining whether a candidate meets the legal requirements to be on the ballot is a weighty decision,” Chiu added. “However, our Office must follow the facts and the law to preserve election integrity. The information Leanna Louie provided was insufficient, and she did not meet her legal burden to prove she had changed her domicile to her Sunset apartment from her long-time family home in District 10.”
Louie joined several San Francisco voters — many of whom were Asian American — to protest against former District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was ousted from office in a recall election.
Last week, Louie came under fire after she targeted Mission Local’s managing editor Joe Eskenazi for writing about her. In a rant on Instagram, Louie reportedly implied that Eskenazi, a Jewish man, is a Nazi because of his last name. Louie eventually apologized in a post on Wednesday.
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