San Francisco, Meet Your New Voting System!
San Francisco voters will begin using a new voting system in the November 5, 2019, election! Let us introduce you to some of the changes and features of the new voting system to help you prepare to vote.
More Intuitive Ballot Marking
Voters will fill in ovals next to their selections, instead of connecting arrows as in the past.
More Rankings in Ranked-Choice Voting Contests
The new ballot format, with a grid layout, allows voters to rank up to 10 candidates in a ranked-choice voting contest, instead of three candidates as in the past. Visit sfelections.org/rcv to practice marking a demonstration ballot.
New Ballot-Marking Device with Enhanced Accessible Features
Every polling place and the Voting Centers at City Hall and San Francisco State University will have an accessible ballot-marking device, featuring audio and touchscreen interfaces. The device is compatible with assistive technology, such as keypads, sip-and-puff devices, and head-pointers. The ballot-marking device does not store or tabulate votes. Voters will print their ballots and insert them into the ballot-scanning machine that tabulates voted ballots.
Enhanced Election Transparency
Every polling place will have a ballot-scanning machine that scans and tabulates ballots. Scanned images of voted ballots and vote count data will be stored on the machine’s memory card. The Department of Elections will post images of scanned ballots, each with notes indicating how vote marks were interpreted and counted by the voting equipment, on sfelections.org. Members of the public can view the ballot images for comparison against official election results.
High Security Standards
The new voting system meets strict security standards and has been certified for use by the California Secretary of State. No part of the system connects to the internet or receives or transmits data through any type of external communication network. Prior to each election, the Department of Elections conducts testing on all voting equipment to verify that the machines are mechanically functional and logically accurate. This testing is open to public observation.
Attend a Voting System Demonstration in Your Neighborhood!
Visit our Voting System Demonstrations throughout the City to gain hands-on experience with the new voting equipment and the new ballot format. The Department of Elections also hosts demonstrations of the new voting equipment and the new ballot format outside City Hall on Van Ness Avenue every Friday through Election Day, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To see the full schedule, go to sfelections.org/outreach/calendar, call (415) 554-4375, or visit our office in City Hall, Room 48.