Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answered by the Ballot Simplification Committee
Who can vote?
U.S. citizens, 18 years or older, who are registered to vote in San Francisco on or before the registration deadline
What is the deadline to register to vote or to update my registration information?
The registration deadline is October 21, fifteen days prior to Election Day. (Missed the deadline? Visit sfelections.org, “Registration for Special Circumstances.”)
When and where can I vote on Election Day?
You may vote at your polling place or at the Voting Center at City Hall or San Francisco State University on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your polling place address is shown on the back cover of your Voter Information Pamphlet. You can also find it at sfelections.org/pollsite or call (415) 554-4375. The Voting Center at City Hall is located outside Room 48. The Voting Center at San Francisco State University is located at 798 State Drive, Towers Conference Center.
Is there any way to vote before Election Day?
Yes. You have the following options:
• Vote by mail. Fill out and mail the Vote-by-Mail Application printed on the back cover of this pamphlet, complete one online at sfelections.org/vbm, or call (415) 554-4375 to request to vote by mail. A vote-by-mail ballot will be sent to you. Your request must be received by the Department of Elections by October 29, or
• Vote in person at the Voting Center at City Hall, beginning October 7, or at the Voting Center at San Francisco State University, beginning November 2 (see here for dates and times).
If I don’t use an application or call, can I get a vote-by-mail ballot some other way?
Yes. You can send a written request to the Department of Elections. This request must include: your printed home address, the address where you want the ballot mailed, your birth date, your printed name, and your signature. Mail your request to the Department of Elections at the address on the back cover of this pamphlet or fax it to (415) 554-4372. Your request must be received by October 29.
If I was convicted of a crime, can I still vote?
Yes, you can. You are eligible to register and vote if you:
• Are in county jail:
o Serving a misdemeanor sentence.
o Serving a felony jail sentence.
o Serving time as a condition of probation for a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
o Awaiting trial.
• Are on probation
• Are on mandatory supervision.
• Are on post-release community supervision.
• Are on federal supervised release.
• Previously received a juvenile wardship adjudication.
My 18th birthday is after the registration deadline but on or before Election Day. Can I vote in this election?
Yes. You can register to vote on or before the registration deadline and vote in this election—even though you are not 18 when you register.
I have just become a U.S. citizen. Can I vote in this election?
• If you became a U.S. citizen on or before the registration deadline (October 21), you can vote in this election, but you must register by the deadline;
• If you became a U.S. citizen after the registration deadline but on or before Election Day, you may register and vote at the Voting Center at City Hall or San Francisco State University before 8 p.m. on Election Day with proof of citizenship.
I have moved within San Francisco but have not updated my registration prior to the registration deadline. Can I vote in this election?
Yes. You have the following options:
• Come to the Voting Center at City Hall or San Francisco State University, on or before Election Day, complete a new voter registration form and vote; or
• Go to your new polling place on Election Day and cast a provisional ballot. You can look up the address of your new polling place by entering your new home address at sfelections.org/pollsite, or call (415) 554-4375.
I am a U.S. citizen living outside the country. How can I vote?
You can register to vote and be sent a vote-by-mail ballot by completing the Federal Post Card Application. Download the application from fvap.gov or obtain it from embassies, consulates or military voting assistance officers.
If I don’t know what to do when I get to my polling place, is there someone there to help me?
Yes. Poll workers at the polling place will help you, or you may visit sfelections.org or call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 for assistance on or before Election Day.
Can I take my Sample Ballot or my own list into the voting booth?
Yes. Deciding your votes before you get to the polls is helpful. You may use either a Sample Ballot or the Ballot Worksheet in this pamphlet for this purpose.
Do I have to vote on every contest and measure on the ballot?
No. The votes you cast will be counted even if you have not voted on every contest and measure.