The Department of Elections Provides Key Reminders about Participating in the November 3 Election

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

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, October 30, 2020 – The November 3 Election is just days away and nearly 280,000 San Francisco voters have already returned their ballots, representing 54 percent of registered voters in the City.

“Voters have many opportunities to safely participate in the upcoming election”, said Director John Arntz. “It's important to vote in whichever way you are most comfortable. If you plan to return your mail-in ballot, please remember that ballots must either be dropped off at an official drop-off station by 8 p.m. November 3, or postmarked November 3 through the mail to be counted.” 

It is not too late to register to vote
Any eligible San Francisco resident can still register in person and cast a provisional ballot up through the close of polls on November 3. Conditional registration and voting is available at the Voting Center at 99 Grove St., and on Election Day at all 588 polling places.

Mail your ballot and skip the line
All registered voters received ballots in the mail. Voters can simply place their voted ballot inside the envelope provided, sign the envelope, and put the envelope in the mail– postage is paid!

To be counted, ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before November 3. To search for convenient locations of blue USPS boxes and pickup times, voters can go to

Voters may also return their ballots to the Voting Center, open now, or one of the official drop-off stations, open starting Friday, October 31.

All official ballot drop-off stations will be staffed with Elections personnel wearing red vests and tasked with ensuring security of ballots returned by voters. At drop-off stations, voters deposit their voted ballots into sealed red ballot boxes that bear the official seal of the City and County of San Francisco.

A list of official San Francisco ballot drop-off stations can be found at   

Safety precautions
Voters are reminded to wear a facial covering and maintain social distancing when voting in person.  

The Department of Elections is committed to the safety and accessibility of voting to all voters. That includes ensuring that on Election Day all 588 polling places in San Francisco are taking all necessary safety precautions.

  • ​Hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks will be available to all voters
  • To minimize congestion, a poll worker will be stationed at the entrance to each polling place to facilitate collection of vote-by-mail ballots returned by voters
  • All poll workers will be equipped with PPE
  • Polling places will be arranged to maintain social distancing
  • Each polling place will have a maximum capacity allowed to maintain distancing indoors
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitation practices will be employed
  • Signage will be posted reminding voters to wear a facial covering and maintain social distancing at all times
  • Voters who prefer not to enter a polling place may request to vote curbside by notifying a poll worker

To provide adequate space for social distancing at voting locations, between the March 2020 election and the November 2020 election, the Department of Elections has relocated many polling places. Voters can check information about their assigned polling place on the back cover of their Voter Information Pamphlet or at

Emergency Ballot Delivery Program
Any voter unable to travel to a polling place or the Voting Center due to illness, disability, or confinement, including a voter under COVID-19-related quarantine, may request a ballot delivery or pick up by contacting the Department of Elections. All Department staff involved in ballot deliveries are trained on health and safety protocols, including cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing, and proper wearing and disposal of PPE, and provided with respiratory protection, face shields, gowns, and gloves.

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



News Category: