Voting by Mail
Any voter may request a vote-by-mail ballot, for this election only or for all elections. The Department of Elections begins mailing ballots approximately one month before each election.
Before You Vote
1. Submit your request to vote by mail as early as possible; it must be received by the Department of Elections by February 25, seven days before Election Day.
2. Check your party preference on the back cover of the printed version of this pamphlet or at sfelections.org/voterportal. Your party preference determines the presidential candidates on your ballot. For the March 3 election, the parties that will allow voters with no party preference to vote in their party’s presidential primary contests are the American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian parties. To change your party preference or to request a party ballot, see here.
3. Check or update your ballot language preference at sfelections.org/language:
• Ballots and other materials are available in English and Chinese, Spanish, or Filipino.
• Facsimile ballots are available in Vietnamese and Korean; these are exact copies of the official ballot with translated content, for voters to use as a reference.
4. Voters with disabilities may use a paper ballot or another accessible option (see here).
5. Learn more about San Francisco’s new voting system at sfelections.org.
How to Request to Vote by Mail
• Fill out and return the application on the back cover of the printed version of this pamphlet.
• Go to sfelections.org/vbm.
• Call (415) 554-4375, or visit the Department of Elections in City Hall, Room 48.
• Mail, fax, or email a scanned request to the Department of Elections with your name, birth date, home address, the address where you want your ballot to be mailed, and your signature.
To vote by mail for all elections, request to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter by completing the application on the back cover of the printed version of this pamphlet or at sfelections.org/voterportal.
If You Make a Mistake on Your Ballot
To request a replacement ballot, go to sfelections.org/voterportal or call (415) 554-4375.
How to Return Your Ballot
1. Fold your ballot cards one by one and place them in the return envelope.
2. Sign and seal the envelope.
3. Return the ballot on time.
There are three ways to return your ballot:
1. Mail it to the Department of Elections; the return envelope must be:
• Postmarked before or on Election Day, Tuesday, March 3, AND
• Received by the Department of Elections no later than Friday, March 6.
2. Drop it off at a Drop-off Station outside either Voting Center, open February 29–March 3 during voting hours (see here).
3. Drop it off at any California polling place on Election Day.
How to Track Your Ballot
Check the status of your ballot—from mailing through counting—at sfelections.org/voterportal or call (866) 325-9163 toll free. If your ballot cannot be counted, this tool will tell you how to correct the issue before Election Day so that we can count your ballot.
Starting February 18, you can watch the opening and processing of vote-by-mail ballots at the Department of Elections at sfelections.org/observe.