Four Quick Facts about the City’s Voting System
San Francisco voters began using a new voting system, previously certified by the California Secretary of State, in the November 5, 2019, election. Voters who have not used this voting system yet will notice some changes:
1. Instead of connecting arrows to mark their ballots as in the past, voters fill in ovals next to their selections, like this:
2. All voting centers and polling places have an accessible Ballot-Marking Device with a number of useful features:
• Audio and touchscreen ballot formats (headphones and keypads available)
• Compatible with assistive technology such as sip-and-puff devices and headpointers
• Voters’ selections are printed on paper ballots and scanned by Ballot-Scanning Machines
• Maintains voter privacy by not storing votes
3. The voting system meets strict security standards. No part of the system connects to the internet or receives or transmits data through any external communication network. Prior to each election, the Department of Elections tests all voting equipment to verify that the machines are mechanically functional and logically accurate. This testing is open to public observation, either in person or by watching a livestream on the Department’s website at sfelections.org/observe. For a calendar of observable activities for the March 3 election, visit sfelections.org/observe.
4. The Department of Elections posts images of voted ballots on its website, including information on how the marks on each ballot were interpreted and tabulated, for interested members of the public to view.
If you have any questions about the City’s voting system, call (415) 554-4375, write to sfvote [at] sfgov.org, or visit our office in City Hall, Room 48.
Coming soon: United States Census 2020
In March 2020, every household will receive a mailing from the United States Census Bureau with instructions on how to respond to the 2020 Census Questionnaire.
The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the country every 10 years. Census data shapes the future of our community by determining representation in Congress and federal government funding for education, transportation, healthcare, and much more.