Letter from the Director
Dear San Francisco Voter, July 16, 2021
For the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election, everyone who is registered to vote in San Francisco by August 30 will receive their one-card ballot in the mail. After the August 30 registration deadline, and through Election Day, people can still register to vote but will need to do so in person at the City Hall Voting Center or a polling place.
Recall elections occur when a sufficient number of voters have signed a petition seeking to remove someone from a public office. The recall ballot has two parts, the “recall question,” and the list of candidates. You may choose to vote in one or both parts.
When answering the recall question, choosing “Yes” means you want to remove the Governor from office. Selecting “No” means you want the Governor to remain in office.
On the back of the ballot is a list of candidates who seek to replace the Governor. If more people vote “Yes,” the candidate with the most votes will become the next Governor of California. If you vote either “Yes” or “No” in the recall question, you can still select a candidate. This allows you to have a vote for the person who would replace the Governor if the recall is successful should more people vote “Yes.”
Returning Your Vote-By-Mail Ballot
Most voters return their ballots using the blue boxes the United States Postal Service (USPS) provides throughout the City. You can search for the nearest USPS boxes and pickup times at usps.com/locator. If you drop your ballot envelope into a blue USPS box, or a letterbox, be sure to check the date and time the USPS will collect your ballot. The reason is the Department can only count ballots in envelopes postmarked on or before Election Day.
Starting August 16, and through Election Day, September 14, voters can also bring their voted ballots to the City Hall Voting Center. Starting September 11, the Department will provide 11 additional drop-off stations, one in each Supervisorial district. You can find the locations and hours of these sites in this voter information pamphlet and on our website, sfelections.org.
On Election Day, September 14, you can also return your voted ballots at any of the City’s 588 neighborhood polling places, open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. The location of your polling place is printed on the back cover of this pamphlet. You can return your ballot without entering the polling place since poll workers will provide ballot boxes at the entrance of each polling place.
Tracking the Status of Your Ballot
Voters can track their ballots as they move through the steps of assembly, delivery, processing, and counting at sfelections.org/voterportal. Voters can also sign up to receive notifications on the status of their ballots via email, text, or voice message at wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov.
Accessible Vote-by-Mail System
Beginning August 16, any voter can use the Department’s accessible vote-by-mail system at sfelections.org/access to receive an electronic ballot, which allows voters to use assistive tools to mark their ballots. You can learn more about this accessible vote-by-mail system on our website, sfelections.org.
Voting in Person
On August 16, the Department will open its Voting Center located inside City Hall, which is available to all voters.
The Voting Center will be open every weekday (except Labor Day), 8 a.m.-5 p.m., starting August 16 and through September 14, the two weekends prior to Election Day, 10 am.-4 p.m., and September 14 (Election Day), 7 a.m.-8 p.m. This site will serve all City residents who want to vote in person, drop off their ballots, use accessible voting equipment, or, after the August 30 registration deadline, to register and vote provisionally.
On Election Day, 588 polling places will open for in-person voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop-off services from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, call the Department, (415) 554-4375, email sfvote [at] sfgov.org, or visit sfelections.org.
John Arntz, Director