The Department of Elections Mails Vote-by-Mail Ballots for the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election to Locally Registered Voters

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

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday, August 11, 2021–Over 500,000 vote-by-mail ballots packets are on the way to all locally registered voters and San Franciscans will begin receiving their ballots in the mail this week.

Each packet will include a voter’s ballot, a prepaid postage return envelope, an insert with voting instructions, and an “I Voted” sticker. To vote by mail, voters can simply mark their ballot, place the ballot in the postage-paid return envelope, sign the envelope, and return the ballot envelope to the Department of Elections by mail or in-person.

“The vast majority of voters will not need to take any action to receive a ballot in the September 14 election and any registered voter may vote using a mailed ballot instead of going to the polls on Election Day,” said Director John Arntz. “In addition to leveraging existing outreach channels to inform voters about voting by mail, the Department has recently launched a new website page, entitled “How Does Voting by Mail Work in San Francisco?” This page provides interactive explanations of all ten steps associated with the processing of vote-by-mail ballots in a manner that is simple, transparent and informative; thus increasing public confidence in the process.”

Voters have multiple safe, secure and reliable options for returning their ballots.   

By Mail: No stamp is required to return the ballot through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Ballots that are returned by mail must be postmarked before or on Election Day, September 14. To search for convenient locations of USPS boxes, voters can go to

In-Person: Voters can return their ballots to a ballot drop-off station set up outside City Hall Voting Center and open starting August 16 or one of the satellite ballot drop-off stations open in each of the 11 supervisorial districts beginning the Saturday before Election Day (for locations and hours, voters can go to On Election Day, voters may return their ballots to any of the 588 drop-off stations set up at polling places across the City.  Ballots that are personally returned must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, September 14.

Voters can track their vote-by-mail ballots from assembly up through deliv­ery, verification, and counting, at Voters may also sign up to receive ballot status notifications via email, text, or voice message at Alternatively, voters may call or email the Department of Elections.

Anyone with questions about registration or voting is encouraged to call the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 or write to   



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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