Explore Outreach Efforts

Elections Outreach staff at a park educating a San Francisco resident about registration options


Our Outreach Division administers year-round voter education programs in compliance with federal, state, and municipal laws, including the Voting Rights Act and the San Francisco Language Access Ordinance. In communicating with residents of the City, the Department strives to reach residents in all communities, including voters with limited English proficiency, seniors and voters with disabilities, voters in areas with turnout below the City’s average turnout, and young and first-time voters.

For each election, the Department utilizes various strategies to reach City residents with general election information and election-specific dates, such as the last day to register, the first day to vote early, the last day to request a ballot by mail, and the date of the upcoming election. The Department also provides information about language services, accessibility services and tools, and engagement opportunities, such as poll worker service, conditional (late) voter registration, and public observation of election processes.

For more information about the current schedule of presentations and demonstration events, view the Outreach Calendar.

General questions or comments? Please use our contact form.

Voting System Demonstrations

San Franciscans will use a new voting system for the November 2019 election. The new system features increased number of rankings in ranked-choice voting contests, more intuitive ballot marking, and greater election transparency.

Outreach on the new voting system will include hands-on demonstrations at venues throughout the City. These demonstrations will offer San Franciscans the opportunity to practice using the new voting system in advance of the November 2019 election and to provide feedback on the new ballot format.

Ranked-Choice Voting Presentations

With the new voting system, voters can rank up to 10 candidates in ranked-choice voting contests, instead of three candidates as in previous elections.

Outreach on the new ranked-choice voting ballot format will provide the opportunity to mark demonstration ballots in various formats -- paper, large-print paper, audio, or touchscreen – and review how the votes are counted in RCV rounds.

To learn more about ranked-choice voting, visit the Ranked-Choice Voting page.

We Seek Your Input on Our Outreach Plan!

To educate San Francisco voters about the new voting system, the Department of Elections will soon roll out a robust outreach program. The program will include various strategies, including newspaper notices in multiple languages, posters on Muni and BART vehicles, public service announcements for television and radio, household mailers, posts on social media, and presentations throughout the City.

These and other planned outreach efforts are discussed in the Draft 2019 Outreach Plan (PDF).

We invite you to review the Draft Outreach Plan and provide feedback on the planned outreach efforts.

Those who are interested in contributing their ideas or feedback on the Department’s planned outreach efforts may complete the Feedback Form (PDF), email sfoutreach@sfgov.org, call (415) 554-5685, or visit the Department’s office to speak to a member of the Outreach Team.

Interested in Scheduling an Outreach Event?

The Department of Elections is the trusted official source for non-partisan election information in San Francisco. All presentations and materials are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino. Any of our event types can be customized according to the particular needs of your organization.

Please use our contact form, or call us at (415) 554-4375 if you’re interested in scheduling or co-hosting an event.

New Voting System Demonstration — Multilingual Department of Elections staff will demonstrate how to use new voting equipment at your event. Note that New Voting System Demonstrations are designed for larger audiences.

November 5, 2019 Election Presentation — Multilingual Department of Elections staff will present a 30-minute, non-partisan slide show highlighting key dates and deadlines for the upcoming election, discuss how to register to vote, explain ranked-choice voting, present voting options, and highlight key features of the new voting system.

Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) Presentation — Multilingual Department of Elections staff will review and demonstrate how to mark a contest that uses ranked-choice voting, and discuss RCV key points to remember, frequently asked questions, and more. Additionally, demonstration ballots will be distributed to event attendees for hands-on practicing marking RCV contest.

Accessible Voting Services Presentation — Multilingual Department of Elections staff will present a non-partisan slide show highlighting accessible services and materials offered by the Department to ensure voters have the information and resources necessary to vote privately and independently.

Voter Registration Drive Training — Multilingual Department of Elections staff will train individuals or organizations to conduct a voter registration drive in accordance with state regulations and best practices. Drawing on their experience conducting registration drive events, staff can help you design the most effective voter registration drive event to reach your intended audience. During the training, staff will also provide voter registration applications and non-partisan educational materials.

Interested in conducting a voter registration drive? Download the Department’s Voter Registration Drive Training Guide (PDF). This guide covers the requirements for conducting a registration drive, as well as procedures for obtaining and returning Voter Registration Applications, and provides tips for how to ensure Voter Registration Applications are completed correctly. To request registration forms to distribute at your Registration Drive, complete the Statement of Distribution (PDF) form.

Resource at a Candidate Forum — Multilingual Department of Elections staff are available to host a resource table and answer voter questions as they arrive at your candidate forum. In addition, staff can present a brief overview of key election dates and deadlines, an explanation of ranked-choice voting, and basic registration and voting option information before your forum begins.

Election Resource Table — Multilingual Department of Elections staff are available 7 days a week throughout the year to provide non-partisan election information and voter education materials at your event.

Want to View or Request Print Outreach Materials?

The Department of Elections produces an array of print materials that provide information about key dates and deadlines for the upcoming election, discuss how to register to vote, explain ranked-choice voting, present voting options, highlight key features of the new voting system, and more.

These materials are distributed throughout San Francisco by way of community presentations, street fairs and festivals, door-to-door canvassing and registration drives. Copies of all brochures and posters are available for distribution to community organizations, with downloadable versions available on this page.

Interested in distributing official printed election information? Please use our Voter Outreach Materials Request Form, or call us at (415) 554-4375.

Request for Proposals: 2020 Voter Outreach Partnership

The Department of Elections (Department) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) (PDF) with the goal of supplementing its outreach efforts about the November 3, 2020, election to current and prospective voters in vulnerable or hard-to-reach communities.

The Department is seeking proposals from local non-profit and community-based organizations who can assist in disseminating information about election services and voting options in the November 3 election, and the recently introduced ranked-choice voting ballot format that allows voters to rank up to 10 candidates in a given contest.

2020 Voter Partnership RFP Addendum (PDF)
2020 Voter Partnership RFP Questions and Answers (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC) (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - Chinese Newcomers Service Center (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - Filipino-American Development Foundation (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - San Francisco Rising (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - San Francisco Study Center (PDF)
Notice of Intent to Award - SF Shanghai Association (PDF)