Marking Your Ballot
For All Types of Contests
1. Read the instructions printed on each ballot card.
2. Use a pen with black or dark blue ink.
3. Fill in the oval next to your selection for the contest or measure, as shown in picture (1).
To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, write the candidate’s name in the space at the end of the candidate list and fill in the oval next to the space. (Beginning October 23, a list of qualified write-in candidates will be available at sfelections.org/writein and at all in-person voting locations.)
If you do not want to vote on a certain contest or measure, leave it blank. Your votes for the other contests and measures will still count.
Do not write personal information, such as your name, anywhere on the ballot.
For Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) Contests
In this election, voters in odd-numbered Supervisorial Districts (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11) will use RCV to elect members of the Board of Supervisors to represent their districts.
In RCV contests, names of candidates are listed in rows on the left side of a grid. Numbered rankings appear in the top row.
1. To rank candidates on the ballot, fill in the ovals from left to right, as shown in picture (2).
• In the first column for your first choice.
• In the second column for your second choice.
• In the third column for your third choice, and so on.
2. You may rank as many candidates as you like — up to a maximum of 10 candidates. If you do not want to rank some candidates, leave columns blank.
Key Points to Remember
Do not fill in more than one oval in the same row, as shown in picture (3). In other words, do not rank the same candidate multiple times. If you rank a candidate as your first, second, third choice, and so on, it is the same as leaving the second choice, third choice, and so on, blank.
Do not fill in more than one oval in the same column, as shown in picture (4). If you give the same ranking to multiple candidates, your vote in that rank and later ranks will not count.
How Does RCV Work?
First, everyone’s first choice is counted.
If a candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes—more than half—that candidate wins.
If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate in last place is eliminated.
Voters who selected the candidate who was eliminated have their votes counted for their next choice.
This cycle repeats until there is a majority winner.