New Features on

Here are some delicious treats for all you kids on the block who are following VoteSF:


  • If you are logged in, we now highlight comments from your friends and display only those comments in Friends view.  This makes it much easier to focus in on opinions and ideas from people you know — the main point of the site!
  • We added some general discussion pages: basically just a few broad topics with the Facebook social plugin for commenting.  This is great if you want to sound off about the election, give us feedback on our work or get help using the site.
  • VoteSF now works with more browsers!  We’re now allowing browsers down to IE 8 and Firefox 3.6.  Safari and Chrome >= 4 should work great too.
Hope you enjoy all this neat new stuff.  More to follow =)





VoteSF: Reward The Best Ideas Not The Deepest Pockets

By: Murray Edelman, Ph.D.


As I’m sure you know, money gravitates towards political candidates with pro-business policies, making it difficult for champions of transparency and reform to get media exposure and compete with expensive advertising campaigns. VoteSF seeks to alter this flow of money and power with a grassroots approach to spreading information about candidates and issues. It gives a stronger voice to more informed voters by helping them bring out the vote of friends in their Facebook networks.Right now, we are reaching out to the politically involved, like the readers of Reset San Francisco. We ask you to share your opinions of the candidates: those that you are considering and the ones you have ruled out. You can even rank them and tell us about your strategy.

Your input will be part of a custom guide for your Facebook friends who will be making decisions in the next few weeks. This will motivate the people in your circle to vote because it makes the process more personal and helps make a complicated ballot much easier to navigate. The most liked comments rise to the top, so your thoughts could be displayed prominently on our home page as well, allowing you to reach a wider audience.

VoteSF is independent, nonpartisan and covers all the races on the ballot. As our networks grow, we can be a fertile base of support and turnout for candidates with challenging ideas.

Our site is in the tradition of SF startups – limited resources but big dreams. We are seeking volunteers to help us gain traction in this election and help us take it to other local and state elections. Contact us at if you are interested in getting involved.

Join us at Together we can select the candidates with the best ideas rather than those with the deepest pockets. Help us go viral and take a step toward resetting the U.S.

Four More Weeks — So Many Friends Have Yet to Decide

With early voting beginning this Monday, you might be really surprised how many people in your circle are still undecided. Putting your ideas out during this critical period can have more impact that you might imagine.

There is no public poll showing the level of indecision; however, we do know this from exit polls:

  • In 2008, 25% of voters decided their vote for the President during the last month.
  • In 2006, 35% of voters chose their vote for the House of Representatives during the last month.

These were highly publicized campaigns that went on all year and were highly polarized by party.  The S.F. Municipal Election is much more complex with sixteen candidates, no party designations, and rank choice voting, a process far more involved than deciding between a Republican and a Democrat. On top of that, voters must form opinions about Sheriff, District Attorney and the propositions.

VoteSF is a way for you to increase your influence by sharing with your friends during his critical period. It is not the typical ‘in your face’ style campaigning, but a way to offer your views to help your community decide.Take this opportunity to share your opinions and your strategy for rank choice voting in every race.

Announcing VoteSF, San Francisco’s Grassroots Voters Guide

We have some very special news to share: our newest site,, is now live and has been generating more and more traffic.  This morning, mayoral candidate Jeff Adachi pulled into the lead after posting the site to his Facebook wall.


VoteSF is a grassroots voter guide for San Francisco, covering all the races in the November 8 municipal election.  It’s written by individual San Franciscans, people like you.


Since you can go through arguments from everyone, or just your Facebook friends, it’s a powerful tool for making voting decisions with aid from people you trust, not campaign slogans and advertising.


If nothing else, the Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrates there is widespread concern about corporate power and the effects of money in politics.  It’s a time when it’s more important than ever to find better ways of holding our elected officials accountable.  VoteSF is our contribution to this wider movement.


Will you help us engage the San Francisco public about this election and achieve more responsible, democratic governance?


Here’s what you can do:


1) Check out the site at


2) ”Like” us on Facebook or mention us in a wall post.  If you aren’t in San Francisco, mention the site to your Facebook friends who are.


3) Indicate all the candidates of whom you approve or disapprove, and tell us why.  Help improve the quality of the debate by explaining your strategy or linking to good sources.


4) “Star” the comments you like and help move them to the top.


5) Let your friends know you’re interested in their point of view, and that they can share it



By contributing to VoteSF, you’ll increase your influence and help your friends decide how to vote.  We urge you to share your views as soon as possible for the greatest reach before the election.


And, of course, you’ll be supporting our efforts to create a new kind of grassroots voter guide.


Thanks for all your help,




Jesse and Murray


P.S. We’re interested in your feedback, too, and we’d love to help out if you have any trouble using the site.  Reach the team at

Circle Voting 2011 Reception 6/21 at the Hub, SF

Hi friends,

Murray and I are doing a small drop-in reception for discussion about Circle Voting.  We’ll be breaking into some wine and cheese and discussing our vision and our development plans for this summer.  It’s an opportunity to say hi to Murray while he’s in town, and if you haven’t seen the amazing Hub (in the SF Chronicle building) it’s a great excuse to come down and check it out.  Please join us!

What:  Drop-in discussion on Circle Voting and social ballot organizing.

Where: ”Lighthouse Room” @ The Hub, 901 Mission Street (at 5th), ground floor

When: Tuesday, 21 June 2011, 4pm–6pm.
Why: Help reclaim US politics from mass media campaign advertising, and drink some wine.

Circle Voting is a project that encourages people to share their voting plans and ideas about politics in a nonconfrontational way.  We believe grassroots social networking can provide an alternative to the dominance and influence of money and mass-media advertising in politics.

Here’s a brief video about our vision:

Circle Voting is working on a new round of organizing and development focused on the San Francisco municipal election November 8, 2011.  In 2010, we created two websites, and, that put our idea into practice for over 1000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It’s time to take it to the next level.

Please join us as we share some of our ideas for this year, ask for your feedback, and drink some wine.

We’ll be in the Lighthouse Room at the Hub in the Chronicle building at 5th and Mission (901 Mission Street).  If you’re not a Hub member, the friendly folks at the door will hook you up with a guest pass if you say you’re visiting me at the Hub.  It’s all good.

Happy Summer!


Jesse Oliver Sanford <>
Circle Voting Organizer / Developer

Hey, everyone, this is exciting! In collaboration with the brilliant James and Ben of Participant Labs I’m delighted to announce a special gift for folks who care about San Francisco politics. Check it out now at!

On January 4, 2011, current San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom becomes California Lieutenant Governor. The Board of Supervisors gets to choose his replacement, and YOU DON’T GET TO VOTE — until now! sfmayorvote.comchristian values allows anyone with a Twitter account to register public support for one of the interim mayor contenders (and it only takes two clicks). We tabulate the votes and make sure the Board of Supervisors hears what you think.

There’s also a special surprise when you enter your vote. This shit is cool — you have got to check it out!

Visit and choose your next mayor now!

Tell the board how you’d vote for San Francisco’s interim mayor and help open up the political process in the city. Here’s a screenshot in case you need a sneak preview. Happy Holidays, San Francisco! xo jesse

Circle Voting on KPFA

This Sunday, October 24th, our co-founder, Murray Edelman, will  be interviewed on the Phillip Maldari show on KPFA, 94.1 FM.

He will be on for the full hour form 9 to 10 AM (PT)  along with Matt Rothchild, editor of the Progressive Magazine. They will take call-ins during the show.  The on-air studio line is:   510-848-4425


The show will be focused on the election and will include a discussion of Circle Voting.

This would be a great time to call in with questions about it.
You can also hear the show in real time or as a recording afterwords at: