Leanna Louie District 4 eligibility Department of Elections
Leanna Louie protests Chesa Boudin as he speaks at Manny's cafe at 16th and Valencia on March 21. Photo by Yujie Zhou

Leanna Louie, the aspiring supervisor struggling through simultaneous accusations of residency and voter fraud, was dropped from the ballot by the City Attorney’s office today after it determined that she did not adequately prove she lives in District 4. 

Louie and her two attorneys met with the City Attorney’s office on Monday to provide residency documents. She has, additionally, been referred to the District Attorney’s office for alleged voter fraud. While registered in District 4, Louie in April voted in District 10 — and signed the ballot envelope, under penalty of perjury, that she was a District 10 voter.

Emails to Louie and her lawyers, querying whether they will file suit to put her back on the ballot, have not yet been returned.

“The information Leanna Louie provided was insufficient,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “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.”

Election Director John Arntz today sent Louie a letter, stating she would not be included on the Nov. 8 ballot. He mailed that letter to her District 10 address, which she listed as her mailing address in her declaration of candidacy to run for District 4 supervisor.

The reviews by the City Attorney and District Attorney were prompted by articles about Louie in Mission Local. The City Attorney today laid out its reasoning for removing Louie from the ballot in a 13-page memo (transcripts, documents and exhibits are available here).

Critically, the City Attorney ruled that Louie did not establish the necessary “domicile” requirements in District 4 thirty days prior to her June 3 declaration of candidacy to run there. 

In addition to providing hard evidence of residency — a lease, bills, statements, registrations, etc. — a candidate must also establish where his or her “domicile” is. This grows complex, and esoteric. A candidate’s mindset comes into play: Not only must they physically live in a home, they must have the intention to make it their fixed, permanent home and return to it when away. 

Courts have held that, when controversy arises, the burden of proof is on a candidate to demonstrate they have established a domicile, not for authorities to prove they haven’t.

Louie’s family home, where her father and other relatives reside, has for many years been in District 10. On March 1 she signed a lease for a room in District 4 with the intent of establishing her domicile there and running for office in that district. On March 8, she registered to vote in District 4.

But Louie confirmed to City Attorney investigators on Monday that she was actually staying in the family home in District 10 on April 3 when a ballot arrived there. She told the City Attorney that she signed that ballot under penalty of perjury with the understanding “That I stay there [the District 10 home], that I sleep there, that I do my business there, eat there, share meals with my family.”

By signing this ballot envelope, Louie in April triggered a registration to the District 10 address. She did not re-register in District 4 until May 7. Between May 7 and June 3, when she declared her candidacy, 27 days transpired. The City Charter requires candidates to reside in their district for 30 days prior to declaring candidacy.

Louie, the City Attorney found, had additional ties to multiple other properties. Her fiancee owns a home in District 9. And the two of them co-own a home in District 11. The deed of trust for the District 11 home lists Louie’s address as the one in District 9.

Her adult son and teenage son reside at the District 11 property. Her fiancee purportedly has a room there, but Louie claims she has never slept at this home.

All in all, the City Attorney found a number of confounding factors that cast doubt on Louie’s claim that her District 4 residence was her one true domicile:

When asked by the City Attorney’s office how she decided which property she would sleep at each night, Louie replied, “It just depends where I’m closest working at that day. Yeah, it depends on my work of the day and what time I finish.” When asked if she had toiletries at each property, she responded, “pretty much, yes.”

In the end, the City Attorney ruled that Louie did not meet the preponderance of evidence standards necessary to prove residency in District 4 in the key period 30 days prior to her June 3 candidacy declaration:

The facts and documents our Office has been able to gather demonstrate a significant number of inconsistencies about where Ms. Louie lived after she claims to have begun her residency in District Four on March 1, 2022. As described in the excerpt above, where Ms. Louie currently sleeps on any given night may change on a daily basis. And while she does have a month-to-month lease for an address in District Four and a number of her friends and acquaintances have visited her at that address, Ms. Louie simultaneously owns a home in District 11 where her fiancé and her sons reside. Meanwhile, she continues to spend nights at her family home in District Ten and spends nights at a District Nine address that she has used for business purposes.

The City Attorney’s ruling comes days after Louie sparked condemnation and made international news by referring to this reporter as a “NAZI” by playing on the last four letters of his family name, and describing elections experts consulted in a prior Mission Local story as “the Weather Underground.”

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, a colleague of Louie’s during the recall campaign of DA Chesa Boudin, has asked the Attorney General to take on the investigation of Louie’s alleged voter fraud.

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. Joe – excellent reporting and great job taking the high road in the face of her puerile attacks on you. You all gained a new reader today.

  2. Thank you so much, Mission Local, for routing out this rotten apple. This city seems more and more filled with them, no?

    As the mom of a Jewish family, it is disappointing that an antisemitic fraudster such as this woman lives, or apparently sometimes lives, on our street. It is otherwise a really lovely neighborhood.

  3. This is as it should be. Thanks for helping to thwart another grifter from joining the city family, Joe.

    1. Getting elected is not the same thing as joining the city family. One must kiss ass up through the Democrat Party to get elected or prove one’s dedication to the cause as a public sector employee.

      The City Family has whacked electeds who did not pay their dues, Daly, Sanchez 1.0, E. Mar 1.0, Ed Jew, Tony Hall, Leland Yee, Ross Mirkarimi, Dean Preston with redistricting, and most recently, Chesa Boudin for daring to get elected.

      They even tried to whack Peskin 2.0 with alcohol. He got the memo and has ingratiated himself with the City Family, going to bat for DPW corruption with the measure to keep sanitation corruptly nestled within the DPW.

      1. And although not elected, don’t forget Olague. She got taken out of good standing in a hurry. Hit-job commercials, the works. Brutal.

        Forget who replaced her, but think the powers that be were deliberate about it. They needed someone who would toe the line. Someone with potential. A real contender.

  4. It’s abundantly clear to anyone that this is not someone we could trust with supervisorial oversight of the Farallon Islands.

  5. She struck out bybher own swodt stroke. Cheaters and liars never prosper, yet somehow she owns three homes in different districts. I’d look into the title transfers of her properties for more o consistencies. Follow the money.

  6. For the most part, this is pretty funny. It wouldn’t have been funny if she hadn’t gotten caught. And the only thing she can do (in an anti-Semitic way) is blame the investigative journalist who discovered she was lying about where she lived.

    The “other” side keeps deflecting to the situation with Board President Shamman Walton, who owns a house in Vallejo. That side has really deep pockets, so they can pay their own investigative journalist if they want to make public more information than has already been made public and reviewed by the City Attorney. There might be a juicy nugget somewhere, I suppose, but it’s on them to “break the story” they insist is there.

  7. This seems like a journalistic win for Mission Local. Good job! Take the win.

    She seemed like a useful gadfly in the Boudin era, but she never seemed responsible enough to be on the Board of Supes. (Of course that also applies to about half the current members.)

  8. Here’s hoping that this pathological liar and hateful racist realizes she is entirely unfit to hold public office. Maybe she can “volunteer” to work on Brooke Jenkins campaign, I hear the pay is pretty good. And of course, there’s always Glim.