Key Facts about the City’s Voting System
San Francisco voters began using a new voting system in 2019. Voters who will be using this system for the first time this fall may find the following information useful:
1. To mark the ballot, voters fill in ovals next to their selections.
2. All voting sites will have ballot-scanning machines and accessible ballot-marking devices. Ballot-marking devices feature:
• Audio and touchscreen ballot formats (headphones and braille-embossed keypads are available)
• Compatibility with assistive devices such as sip-and-puff and head pointer
• Ballot secrecy and vote count security. The ballot-marking devices do not store voters’ selections; after marking their ballots, voters need to print and have their ballots scanned by ballot-scanning machines.
3. Prior to each election, the Department of Elections tests all of the City’s voting equipment to verify that this equipment is functional and generates logically accurate results. Equipment testing is open to public observation, both in person and via livestream at sfelections.org/observe.
4. No part of the City’s voting system connects to the internet or receives or transmits data through any external communication network. In an effort to provide maximum transparency, the Department of Elections publically posts images of voted ballots on its website, including information on how the marks on each ballot were interpreted and tabulated.