Department of Elections Encourages Voters Who Would Like to Receive Translated Election Materials to Provide Their Language Preference

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, August 22, 2016 – The Department of Elections encourages voters to provide their language preference in order to receive the official ballot, the Voter Information Pamphlet, and other election materials in Chinese, Spanish, or Filipino, in addition to English.

Last month, the Department mailed notices to nearly 8,000 new voters who were added to the voter roll since a similar mailer was sent prior to the June election, providing an avenue for voters to add a language preference to their voter registration records. The notice advises voters that election materials are available in Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino, and provides different options voters may use to provide their language preference to the Department. Additionally, the notice advertises the opportunity to serve as a poll worker in the November 8 election, maximizing the Department’s efforts to enrich its pool of volunteers by recruiting people with bilingual skills who can provide assistance to San Francisco’s diverse electorate.

Voters may submit their language preference for election materials by marking and returning this mailer, or by completing the form at or calling or visiting the Department’s office.

As the voter rolls grow for the November election, the Department will continue to facilitate these requests by mailing notices to new registrants, to accelerate delivery of each voter’s election materials in the appropriate language and to engage new registrants in civic activity through volunteering as poll workers.

To ensure access to election information, the Department translates over 70 documents, such as forms, notices, and applications, into Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino. The Department produces three versions of the official ballot, each with content in English and one of these three languages. The Department also offers facsimile ballots in Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese on, at the Voting Center, and at every polling place on Election Day. In addition, the Department produces the Voter Information Pamphlet in English, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, and in large-print, audio, PDF, MP3 formats, HTML, and XML formats. 

The multilingual services offered by the Department include a dynamic website – – with multilingual information and tools for voters, community outreach, bilingual staff to provide year-round telephone and in-person assistance, and bilingual poll workers on Election Day.

For the November 8 election, as in previous elections, voters who have provided their language preference to the Department will receive a ballot in English and their preferred language either by mail, at the City Hall Voting Center, or at their polling place. As the election season nears, San Francisco voters are urged to share their preferred ballot language with the Department.

The Department of Elections encourages community organizations and the media to help publicize the availability of election services and materials in various languages. Doing so will help enhance access and engagement, voter preparedness and participation, and the overall voting experience for all voters.


Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4375

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