The Department of Elections Urges Voters to Return Their Vote-By-Mail Ballots

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

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, October 26, 2020 –The Department of Elections reminds voters who have not yet returned their vote-by-mail ballots of several return options.

“Approximately 215,000 voters already cast their ballots — nearly 42 percent a week from the election,” said Director John Arntz. “If you have been holding onto your ballot, act now and vote from the comfort and safety of your home. Seal your completed ballot inside the return envelope, sign the envelope, and return it by mail or in person. Voters who plan to mail their ballots are reminded that ballot envelopes must be postmarked or date stamped by a delivery company on or before Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.”

Voters may return their voted ballots in one of the following ways:

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, November 3. To search for convenient locations of USPS boxes and pickup times, voters can go to

In person to one of the official ballot drop-off stations or a polling place
here are several ballot drop-off stations set up near the Voting Center at 99 Grove St. allowing for convenient access for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists. These ballot drop-off stations are open as follows:

  • Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • This weekend, October 31–November 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Starting October 31, the Department will open 11 additional drop-off stations in the City, one in each Supervisorial District. In Supervisorial Districts 1-2, 4-5, and 7-11, the drop-off stations will be located outside public library branches, in District 3 at the Portsmouth Square, and in District 6 at the Chase Center.

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

On Election Day, voters may return their ballots to any of the 588 drop-off stations set up at polling places. Ballots that are personally returned must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. To check polling place locations, get directions, and view wait times, voters can go to

By authorizing someone to return the ballot on voter’s behalf
Anyone who is unable to mail or personally return the ballot may designate someone else to return the ballot by providing the required information on the back of the return envelope.  

The Department encourages voters to check the status of their returned ballots at If there is an issue preventing the Department from counting a voter’s ballot, the tool provides the reason and actions the voter must take to resolve the issue so that the ballot can be counted.

Additionally, in these situations, the Department will make every effort to contact the voter to explain how to correct the issue in time for the ballot to be counted. Voters who need to correct information on their ballot envelope will receive a notice that includes various options to submit the required information to the Department. Department staff will also contact these voters via email and telephone if the voter has provided such contact information. 

For more information about the upcoming election, contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 or


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

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