Explore Outreach Efforts
The Department of Elections develops its voter outreach programs with applicable federal, state, and local laws in mind; these include the , the Voting Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities ActSan Francisco Language Access Ordinance. To further its mission of providing equitable access to voting and election-related services and conducting free, fair, and functional elections, the Department of Elections also develops many voter outreach programs with the particular needs of members of the City’s more vulnerable communities in mind; these include residents of neighborhoods with turnout below the City average, voters who prefer to speak languages other than English, voters with disabilities, voters who are unhoused or housing insecure, and members of the City’s communities of color.
Year-round, the Department of Elections’ Outreach Division uses a wide range of multiformat, multilingual strategies to broadcast information on general election topics such as voter registration, voting options (by mail and in-person), language services and translated materials, accessible voting services and tools, and ranked-choice voting in local contests. In the months and weeks leading up to each election, the Outreach Division also publicizes information about election-specific topics such as upcoming deadlines, contests on the ballot, and opportunities for civic engagement, such as poll worker service and public election observation. Outreach strategies for both general and election-specific topics include the publication of print and digital materials, the conduct of in-person and virtual educational presentations, and the provision of in-person, telephone and email customer service in multiple languages.
In addition to providing direct outreach to City residents, the Outreach Division reaches voters and potential registrants via community partnerships as well as through its advisory committees: 1) the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC), which works to improve election services for elderly voters and voters with disabilities, 2) the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee (LAAC), which works to improve election services for voters for whom English is a second language, and 3) the Poll Worker Advisory Network (PWAN), which works to improve poll worker training.
Ready to get involved in voter outreach?
- View the current Outreach Calendar to see upcoming outreach events.
- Use the Department’s or call (415) 554-5685 to schedule an outreach event. Event Request Form
- Use the Department’s or call (415) 554-5685 to request hard copy materials. Materials Request Form
- Complete the LAAC Application to join the Department’s Language Accessibility Advisory Committee.
- Complete the VAAC Application to join the Department’s Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee.
- Complete the PWAN Application to join the Department’s Poll Worker Advisory Network.
Voter Education Presentations
Bilingual staff from the Department of Elections’ Outreach Division are available by request to give nonpartisan voter education presentations at venues across the City, including high schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, senior living communities and outdoor events. All presentations are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino.
— This 20-minute presentation provides information about registering to vote, including registration rules for people in certain special circumstances such as non-citizen residents eligible to vote in local school board elections, unhoused voters, voters involved in the justice system, voters in college, and voters who need to remain confidential for their personal security. The presentation also features information about vote by mail voting in 2021, in-person voting, language and accessibility resources, as well as potential recall election and upcoming redistricting. Registration and Voting Options Presentation
Upcoming Election Presentation — This 30-minute presentation covers essential election topics such as registration qualifications and ways to register to vote, upcoming election dates and deadlines, voting options (by mail and in-person), and language and accessibility resources. After this presentation, attendees are invited to register to vote or sign up to serve as poll workers.
Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) Presentation — This 30-minute presentation explains which local offices are elected using ranked-choice voting, how to mark a ballot with ranked-choice voting contests, and how votes in ranked-choice voting contests are counted. After this presentation, attendees are invited to practice ranking candidates on demonstration ballots.
Accessible Voting Resources Presentation — This 30-minute presentation describes the different types of accessible resources San Franciscans can use to participate in elections privately and independently. After this presentation, attendees are invited to practice marking a demonstration ballot using the audio or touchscreen interface of a ballot-marking device.
Voter Registration Drive Presentation — This 60-minute presentation explains how to conduct a registration drive in compliance with state law (see Voter Registration Drive Training Guide (PDF) (Coming June 2021). After this presentation, attendees are invited to request copies of voter registration affidavits by completing a Statement of Distribution (PDF).
Community Ambassador Training Presentation — Would your organization like to get more involved in voter outreach? Join the Department of Elections’ Community Ambassador Program and learn how to provide outreach to voters on all of the topics described above! Staff from the Outreach Division can provide training at your convenience.
Voter Registration and Education Booth – Is your organization hosting an event which San Francisco voters and/or potential registrants will attend? Staff from the Outreach Division can set up a booth to register voters, distribute multilingual voter education materials, recruit poll workers, and answer questions in multiple languages.
Voter Education Materials
The Department of Elections produces a wide array of voter education materials, all of which are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino, as well as in standard and large-print formats.
Upcoming Election Flyer (PDF) (Coming August 2021) This flyer presents essential information about the next election, including ways to register to vote or check your registration information, available voting options and resources, and how to apply to serve as a poll worker.
Pre-Registration Card (PDF) (Coming June 2021) This card, designed for distribution to 16 and 17-year-old San Franciscans who have pre-registered to vote, provides information for first-time voters and describes opportunities for civic engagement.
No Fixed Address Voter Card (PDF) (Coming June 2021) This card, designed for distribution to unhoused or housing insecure voters, explains ways to register to vote and which types of addresses can be used for voter registration purposes.
Justice-Involved Voter Card (PDF) (Coming June 2021) This card, designed for distribution to voters involved with criminal justice, explains ways to register to vote and voter registration qualifications.
Accessible Voting Flyer (PDF) This flyer explains the many different types of accessible voting materials and services available to San Francisco voters, including accessible equipment, tools, and personal assistance.
Accessible Vote-By-Mail System Card (PDF) (Coming June 2021) This card explains how to access San Francisco’s accessible vote-by-mail system (AVBM), as well as how to return an AVBM ballot.
Ranked-Choice Voting Flyer (PDF) This flyer explains which local offices are elected using ranked-choice voting, how to mark a ballot with ranked-choice voting contests, and how votes in ranked-choice voting contests are counted.
San Francisco’s Voting System (PDF) This brochure provides information on San Francisco’s current voting system, including its accessibility and security features.
Career Card (PDF) This card provides information on employment and volunteer opportunities available at the Department of Elections.