Letter from the Director
Dear San Francisco Voter, September 10, 2020
With great assistance from our Mayor, City Administrator, the Board of Supervisors, and many City agencies, the Department of Elections has undertaken many measures to ensure you can safely vote in the November 3, 2020, Consolidated General Election.
Voting By Mail
For the upcoming election, all registered voters will automatically receive ballots in the mail. After the October 19 registration deadline and through Election Day, people can still register to vote but must do so in person at the Voting Center or a polling place.
Voting by mail allows voters to mark their ballots at home and avoid traveling elsewhere to vote in person. To vote by mail, fill in the ovals beside the candidates and measures, place your ballot cards in the postage-paid return envelope, sign the envelope, and mail your ballot to the Department. You can also bring your ballot to a polling place or a ballot drop-off station.
Returning Your Vote-By-Mail Ballot
The most common method to return voted ballots is using the United States Postal Service (USPS). 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 return envelopes with postmarks dated on or before Election Day. You can search for locations of USPS boxes and pickup times at usps.com/locator.
The next most common method to return voted ballots is dropping them off 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.
Starting October 5, voters can bring their voted ballots to the drop-off site located on the Civic Center Plaza. Starting October 31, the Department will provide three additional sites designated as drop-off stations: Chase Center, Bayview Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library, and Excelsior Branch Library.
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.
Voting in Person
As in prior elections, the Department will organize 588 polling places on Election Day for in-person voting. On October 5, the Department will also open its Voting Center, which is available to all City voters.
The Voting Center will be set up outdoors in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on 99 Grove Street. The Voting Center will be open every weekday (except October 12), 8 a.m.–5 p.m., starting October 5 and through November 2, the two weekends prior to Election Day, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and November 3 (Election Day), 7 a.m.–8 p.m. This site will serve all City residents—including non-citizens eligible to vote in the Board of Education contest—who want to vote in person, drop off their ballots, use accessible voting equipment, or, after the October 19 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. If you decide to vote in person, please remember to wear a facial covering.
Health and Safety Protocols
With guidance from the Department of Public Health, the Department has implemented health and safety protocols at all in-person voting and ballot drop-off sites. All sites will be set up to allow for social distancing, and elections workers will regularly sanitize voting supplies, equipment, and high-touch surfaces. Sites will offer face masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves to all voters, and multilingual notices will be posted reminding voters to follow health and safety guidelines.
For more information, call the Department, (415) 554-4375, email sfvote [at] sfgov.org, or visit sfelections.org.
John Arntz, Director