Ballot Pickup, Delivery, and Return Services

 

In accordance with recent changes in the law, the San Francisco Department of Elections will mail vote-by-mail ballots and permit access to its accessible vote-by-mail (AVBM) system to all registered voters for the November 3, 2020, Consolidated General Election. The Department will also offer in-person voting services at voting centers and 588 polling places.

State elections law allows a voter in certain circumstances to authorize another person to pick up their ballot and deliver it to them. State law also allows any voter to authorize another person to return their voted ballot for them.

If you plan to authorize another person to pick up or return your ballot for you in this election, we invite you to explore this page and to contact the Department of Elections with any questions. If you are still deciding how to vote, or want to learn about the different voting options, we invite you to visit the Ways to Vote page.

Notice to Those Assisting Voters

Every voter has the right to cast a secret ballot privately and independently. Although a voter may authorize someone else to pick up, help mark, or return their ballot, under no circumstances should anyone, including the voter’s friends, family members, or caregivers, interfere with the voting process, intimidate the voter, or make decisions on the voter’s behalf. If a voter receiving assistance does not clearly express an intention to vote a certain way in a given contest, the contest should be left blank.

Authorize a family member or housemate to pick up your ballot and deliver it to you

Beginning October 5, any registered voter may authorize a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, or person residing in their household to pick up a vote-by-mail ballot from a voting center and deliver it to them, provided the authorized person is at least 16 years old.

To authorize a family member or housemate to pick up your vote-by-mail ballot for you, complete a Family and Household Ballot Pickup Form (PDF) or provide a written authorization. You must sign the form or written authorization under penalty of perjury and include your name, date of birth, residential address, and the name of the person you authorize to pick up your ballot.

The person you authorize will receive your ballot after presenting the signed authorization at any voting center (for locations and hours, visit the Vote at a Voting Center page).

Request emergency ballot pickup and delivery

From October 28 through Election Day, November 3, any registered voter unable to travel to a polling place or voting center because of illness, disability, or confinement to home or hospital, including a voter under COVID-19 related quarantine, may authorize anyone to pick up and deliver the voter’s vote-by-mail ballot on behalf of the voter.

Hospitalized or homebound voters who still need ballots in the last week of the voting period may use this option to authorize their caregivers, family members, friends, etc., to deliver ballots to them.

To authorize someone to pick up a vote-by-mail ballot for you, complete the Emergency Ballot Pickup Form (PDF) or provide a written authorization. You must sign the form or written authorization under penalty of perjury and include your name, date of birth, residential address, and the name of the person you authorize to pick up your ballot.

The person you authorize will receive your ballot after presenting the signed authorization at any voting center (for locations and hours, visit the Vote at a Voting Center page.)

In the last week of the voting period, Department of Elections staff can also deliver and pick up ballots for hospitalized or homebound voters. To request such service, voters may call (415) 554-4375 or send an email to sfvote@sfgov.org.

Authorize someone to return your ballot

Beginning October 5, any voter who is unable to return their vote-by-mail ballot may authorize another person to return their ballot by mail, or to any ballot drop-off box, voting center, or polling place in the state.

To authorize someone to return your vote-by-mail ballot for you, complete and sign the Ballot Return Authorization section on your official ballot return envelope.