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Voters in San Francisco cast ballots today in a referendum of the city’s district attorney, Chesa Boudin. The recall effort has gained national attention as a proxy of voters’ shifting attitudes amid a nationwide rise in violent crime during the pandemic.
Boudin was elected in 2019 as part of a wave of progressive prosecutors, having run on a platform of decarceration and police accountability. His critics argue lax policies have led to a rise in crime, though some argue data have not established a clear link to Boudin’s prosecutorial decisions. High-profile attacks in the city on Asian Americans and a rash of smash-and-grab robberies helped fuel the effort.
Surveys show city residents feel the quality of life has declined in recent years, and polls from mid-May showed Boudin trailing by 10 points. The vote follows the recall of three of the city’s school board commissioners in February.
Separately, seven states—including California—hold primary elections today.