Guide to voting on Election Day, plus voting early in person and by absentee ballot via mail

San Francisco early voting

Not sure about all of your options for voting in #SanFrancisco? Read on to find out how to vote on Election Day, as well as voting early in person and via mail.

The following voter information was originally published by the SF Department of Elections.

Vote at the City Hall Voting Center

Beginning October 11 through Election Day, any San Francisco voter may vote at the City Hall Voting Center, outside Room 48:

  • Monday through Friday, October 11–November 7 (closed on the October 10 holiday), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, October 29–30 and November 5–6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (enter on Grove Street)
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vote by Mail

Any voter may request a vote-by-mail ballot, for this election only or for all elections.

If you always vote by mail, your ballot will be mailed in early October. If you have not received your ballot by October 14, please call.

When you receive your ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions enclosed with it.

Three Ways to Return Your Ballot

  1. Mail it to the Department of Elections. The return envelope must be postmarked by the U.S. postal service or date stamped by a delivery company before or on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, AND received by the Department of Elections no later than Monday, November 14.
  2. Drop it off at a City Hall Drop-off Station.
  3. Drop it off at any San Francisco polling place on Election Day.

Find details in the Instructions enclosed with your ballot, or go to sfelections.org/vbminsert.

To check the status of your vote-by-mail ballot at any time from when it is mailed until after it has been counted, go to sfelections.org/vbmstatus 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 October 25, you can watch the opening and processing of vote-by-mail ballots at the Department of Elections at sfelections.org/observe.

Issues to Avoid to Ensure Your Ballot Is Counted

The most common reasons that vote-by-mail ballots cannot be counted are signature issues or late returns:

  • the voter did not sign the return envelope,
  • the voter’s signature on the return envelope does not compare to the voter’s signature in the Department of Elections records,
  • the voter’s ballot was postmarked after Election Day or received later than three days after Election Day.

How to Request to Vote by Mail

If you want to vote by mail for the November 8 election, the Department of Elections must receive your request by November 1. There are several ways to request to vote by mail:

  • Go to sfelections.org/toolkit:
    • Click on “Vote by mail and track your ballot” 
    • Click on one of the options to apply to vote by mail only for the upcoming election, or for all elections.
  • 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.

If you want to vote by mail for all elections, indicate that you wish to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter.

Vote at Your Polling Place on Election Day

Where you live determines which contests and candidates appear on your ballot. To receive the ballot with the correct contests and candidates, vote at your assigned polling place.

Check the address of your polling place at sfelections.org/pollsite.

Polling places are open on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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