Non-Citizen Registration and Voting

Staff assisting a non-citizen voter

 

In the November 2016 election, San Francisco voters passed Proposition N, Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections, by a vote of 54% to 46%.

Proposition N is a Charter amendment that extends the voting rights in San Francisco School Board elections to non-citizen residents of San Francisco who are of legal voting age, not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction, and who are parents, legal guardians, or legally recognized caregivers of children under the age of 19 living in San Francisco.

In May 2018, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending the Municipal Elections Code to implement Proposition N by requiring the Department of Elections to develop a non-citizen voter registration form and other documents related to non-citizen voting in School Board elections. The ordinance also requires a notice (provided below) on non-citizen voter materials that any information provided to the Department may be obtained by the federal government.

Non-citizen voting will be available at the next election for members of the Board of Education, scheduled for November 6, 2018, and at every Board of Education election until November 2022. After the November 2022 election, the opportunity for non-citizens to vote in School Board elections will expire unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.

Charter Amendment - Non Citizen Voting in School Board Elections (PDF)

ORDINANCE NO. 128-18 [Municipal Elections Code - Noncitizen Voting in School Board Elections] (PDF)

Important Notice for Non-Citizens

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR NON-UNITED STATES CITIZENS.

Any information you provide to the Department of Elections, including your name and address, may be obtained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies, organizations, and individuals. In addition, if you apply for naturalization, you will be asked whether you have ever registered or voted in a federal, state, or local election in the United States. You may wish to consult with an immigration attorney, an organization that protects immigrant rights, or other knowledgeable source before providing any personal information to the Department of Elections and before registering to vote in San Francisco Board of Education Elections. You can find a list of nonprofit organizations that specialize in protecting the rights of immigrants on sfelections.org.
አማርኛ - አስፈላጊ ማሳሰቢያ عربى - ملاحظة هامة Հայերեն - արևոր Ծանուցում
বাংলা - নব,করেণর ফম 粵語 - 重要通知 Cebuano/Bisaya - Importanteng Noticia
潮州話 - 重要通知 Nederlands - Belangrijke mededeling English - IMPORTANT NOTICE فارسی - اطلاعیه مهم
Tagalog - Mahalagang Abiso Français - Avis important Deutsche - Wichtiger Hinweis Ελληνικά - Σημαντική Ανακοίνωση
ગુજરાતી - મહત્વપૂર્ણ સૂચના עברית - הודעה חשובה हिन्दी - महत्वपूर्ण सूचना Ntawv Hmoob - Daim Ntawv Ceeb Toom Tseem Ceeb
Magyar - Fontos Értesítés Ilocano - Importante nga noticia (pakaammo) Bahasa Indonesia - Pemberitahuan Penting Italiano - Comunicazione importante
日本語 - 重要なお知らせ ខ្មែរ - សេចក្តីជូនដំណឹងសំខាន់ 한국어 - 중요 안내 ພາສາລາວ - ແຈ້ງການສຳຄັນ
普通話 - 重要通知 Mienh - Box tong kuv waac-fienx bun hiuv پښتو - مهمه خبرتیا Polski - Ważna informacja
Português - Aviso importante ਪੰਜਾਬੀ - ਮਹੱਤਵਪੁਰਨ ਨੋਟਿਸ Limba română - Aviz Important Русский язык - Важное уведомление
Fa’aSamoa - Fa’asilasilaga Tāua Bosanski - Važna obavijest Hrvatski - Važna obavijest Español - Aviso Importante
台灣語 - 重要通知 ภาษาไทย - ประกาศสำคัญ ትግርኛ - ኣገዳሲ ሓበሬታ 台山話 – 重要通知 (繁體中文)
台山话 – 重要通知 (简体中文) Fakatonga - Fakatokanga Mahu’inga Türkçe - Önemli Duyuru Українська - Важливе повiдомлення
اردو - اہم نوٹس Tiếng Việt - Thông Báo Quan Trọng

Registering to Vote in the School Board Election

 

Learn about eligibility requirements for registering, how to register, and what to expect after you submit a Non-Citizen Voter Registration Form to the Department of Elections.

Eligibility Requirements

If you are not a United States citizen and meet the requirements below, you may register and vote in the San Francisco School Board election on November 6, 2018.

  • Resident of San Francisco and do not plan to move before November 6, 2018
  • At least 18 years old on November 6, 2018
  • Parent, legal guardian, or caregiver* of a child under 19 living in San Francisco
  • Not in state or federal prison, or on parole for the conviction of a felony
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
*A caregiver is someone who signs the affidavit to enroll a minor in school and consents to school-related medical care on behalf of the minor. This is determined by state law, in CA Family Code §6550-6552.


Registering to Vote

Download and print a Non-Citizen Voter Registration Form (PDF). Read the Important Notice and use the Checklist to confirm eligibility. Complete, sign, and return the form by the registration deadline, October 22 (if you missed the registration deadline, you still have the opportunity to register and vote at the City Hall Voting Center up until Election Day).

To return the form, mail it back to the Department (no stamp is required if printed double-sided and folded so that “BUSINESS REPLY MAIL” appears on the front of the form) or bring the form to the Department’s office in City Hall, Room 48.

Note: Registering to vote in the San Francisco School Board election on November 6 does not permit you to vote in any other federal, state, or local elections.

Non-Citizen Voter Registration Forms (PDF)
የምዝገባ ቅጽ إستمارة تسجيل Գրանցման Ձև
িনব,করেণর ফম 登記表 (中文) Papel para Rehistro
登記表 (中文 - 潮州話) Registratieformulier Voter Registration Form فرم ثبت نام
Form para sa Pagpaparehistro Formulaire d’inscription Anmeldeformular Έντυπο Εγγραφής
નોંધણી માટેનું પત્રક טופס רישום पंजीकरण पत्रक Daim Ntawv Foos Tso Npe
Regisztrációs Űrlap Papel para ti panagrehistro Formulir Pendaftaran Modulo di registrazione
登録用紙 ក្រដាសបំពេញចុះឈ្មោះ 등록 양식 ແບບຟອມລົງທະບຽນ
登記表 (中文 - 普通話) Faaux mbuoz sou-form د نوم لیکنې فورمه Formularz rejestracyjny
Formulário de cadastramento ਰਜਿਸਟ੍ਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਫਾਰਮ Formular de înregistrare Регистрационный бланк
Pepa Fa’atumu o le Resitara Formular za registraciju Obrazac za prijavu Formulario de Inscripción
登記表 (中文 - 台灣語) แบบฟอร์มการลงทะเบียน መመዝገቢ ፎርም 登記表 (中文 - 台山話)
登记表 (简体中文 - 台山话) Foomu Lesisita Kayıt Formu Реєстрацiйний бланк
رجسٹریشن فارم Đơn Đăng Ký

To receive a Non-Citizen Voter Registration Form by mail, contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 or email us.

What to Expect After You Register to Vote

Once your Non-Citizen Voter Registration Form is processed, the Department will mail you a Notification Card to confirm your registration. If you do not receive the card within two weeks, contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 or email us.

In early October, the Department of Elections will mail you a School Board Election Booklet, printed in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino. The Voter Information Booklet (PDF) is also available online.

The booklet includes information about the candidates running for School Board and a sample ballot that you can use to practice marking your choices before marking your official ballot.

To confirm your registration information and track the status of your ballot, use the Non-Citizen Voter Information Portal or contact the Department.

Cancelling your Voter Registration

If you wish to cancel your voter registration prior to the November 6, 2018, School Board election, download, complete and provide to the Department a Request to Cancel Voter Registration (PDF). A Request to Cancel Voter Registration Form can also be obtained by calling the Department at (415) 554-4375 or in person at the Department’s office, Room 48 in City Hall.

Voting in Person at Your Polling Place or City Hall

Learn about voting in person at your polling place on Election Day on November 6 or at the City Hall Voting Center, beginning October 9.

Vote at your Polling Place

All polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Your assigned polling place is determined by where you live in San Francisco. Use the Department’s Polling Place and Sample Ballot Lookup Tool to access your polling place details.

Upon arrival at your polling place, give your name and address to a poll worker. After the poll worker finds your name and address in the Roster of Voters, you will be asked to sign the roster.

The poll worker will then issue a secrecy folder and a paper ballot with only the School Board contest. The ballot and voting instructions will be printed in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino.

Take your ballot to a voting booth. Be sure to read the instructions printed on the top portion of the ballot. After marking the ballot, insert the ballot into a voting machine and get your “I Voted” sticker.

In addition to accessibility tools for paper ballots such as easy-grip pens and magnifying glasses, accessible touchscreen and audio versions of the ballot in English, Chinese (with both Cantonese and Mandarin audio), Spanish, and Filipino are available. If you prefer to vote an audio or touchscreen ballot, tell a poll worker.

If you need assistance when voting, ask a poll worker. Poll workers wear name badges that indicate what languages they speak. You may also bring up to two people with you to your polling place, as long as they are not representatives of your employer or your union.

If your name is not listed in the Roster of Voters, you might have gone to a polling place other than where you are assigned. If you registered to vote in the School Board election on or before the deadline on October 22, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot at the polling place.

If you did not register to vote in the School Board election by the deadline, you have the right to register to vote conditionally at the Department of Elections and cast a provisional ballot at the City Hall Voting Center.

Vote at the City Hall Voting Center

The City Hall Voting Center opens on October 9 and is located on the ground floor of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 48.

Click here to get directions to City Hall.

At the Voting Center, you can cast your ballot, register, update your registration, drop off your vote-by-mail ballot, or get a replacement ballot. Voting Center hours are as follows:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning October 9
  • Saturday and Sunday, two weekends before Election Day, November 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (enter on Grove Street)
  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting by Mail


Apply to Vote by Mail

Learn about options for applying and returning your vote-by-mail ballot, and how to check the status of your ballot.

The Department must receive your request to vote by mail by October 30. There are three ways to request a vote-by-mail ballot:

After the Department processes your request, you will be mailed a ballot, voting instructions, and a postage paid return envelope. Materials will be in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino.

If you make a mistake when marking your ballot or misplace it, contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554-4375 to request a replacement ballot be sent to you.

Return Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot

To return your ballot, complete and sign the vote-by-mail return envelope. Be sure to write clearly and sign in the designated section with the signature you used when registering. Fold your ballot and seal the ballot inside the completed and signed return envelope.

Remember to return your vote-by-mail ballot on time, either by mail or in person.

To be counted, ballots returned by mail must be postmarked before or on Election Day, November 6 and received by the Department of Elections no later than Friday, November 9. If you return your ballot on Election Day by using a blue USPS mailbox, check the noted collection time to verify that the ballot return envelope will be postmarked on the same day.

Ballots returned in person must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 6. See the table below for hours and locations for returning your ballot in person.

  Hours Location
City Hall Voting Center Monday through Friday, starting 29 days before Election Day
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
(two weekends before Election Day)
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Election Day
7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ground Floor of San Francisco
City Hall
Click here to get directions
Drop-Off Stations Outside City Hall Saturday and Sunday
(the weekend before Election Day)
10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Monday, the day before Election Day
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Election Day
7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Outside two City Hall entrances:
the main entrance at
Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
(Polk Street) and
the Grove Street entrance
Any Polling Place Election Day
7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Polling Places
across San Francisco

You may authorize anyone to return your ballot by providing the required information on the back of your vote-by-mail return envelope. The same return deadlines apply.

Check the Status of Your Ballot

To check the status of your ballot, use the Non-Citizen Voter Information Portal or contact the Department.

Resources and FAQs Related to Registration and Voting

Various resources are available for prospective registrants, which may also be used by organizations and individuals conducting outreach about non-citizen voting.

The Guide to Registration and Voting Process for Non-Citizens, available in six languages, was created to help prospective registrants understand eligibility requirements and navigate the voting process from registering to vote to casting the ballot.

Guide to Registration and Voting Process for Non-Citizens (PDF)
6 نوفمبر،2018 ابات مجلس التعليم في اسن فرانسيسكو (انتخابات مجلس التعليم تصويت الناخبين غير المواطنين 非公民登記及投票程序指南 Guide to Registration and Voting Process for Non-Citizens
Gabay para sa Rehistrasyon at Proseso ng Pagboto ng mga Hindi-Mamamayan Guía para la inscripción y votación de personas sin ciudadanía Hướng Dẫn Tiến Trình Đăng Ký và Bầu Cử cho Cư Dân Không Có Quốc Tịch Mỹ

The Non-Citizen Voting in the School Board Election on November 6 poster, designed to further facilitate voter education, is available in print format in six languages for individuals and community members to display.

Non-Citizen Voting in the School Board Election on November 6 poster (PDF)
تصويت الناخبين غير المواطنين ابات مجلس التعليم في اسن فرانسيسكو (انتخابات مجلس التعليم) 6 نوفمبر، 11月6日非公民在學校委員會選舉的投票 Non-Citizen Voting in the School Board Election on November 6 poster
Pagboto ng mga Hindi-Mamamayan sa Eleksyon para sa Lupon ng mga Paaralan sa Nobyembre 6 Afiche sobre la votación de personas sin ciudadanía en las elecciones del Consejo de Educación del 6 de noviembre BẦU CỬ CHO CƯ DÂN KHÔNG PHẢI QUỐC TỊCH MỸ Cuộc Bầu Cử Ban Đặc Trách Học Khu San Francisco (Cuộc Bầu Cử Ban Đặc Trách Học Khu) Ngày 6 tháng 11, 2018

If you are interested in obtaining voter education materials, please use the Outreach and Educational Materials Request Form or call (415) 554-4375.

The Department will maintain a webpage on sfelections.org listing organizations with tax exempt status under 26 United States Code Section 9501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) whose primary mission is protecting the rights of immigrants. The Department will also create a form organizations may use to affirm that they meet these criteria.

The Frequently Asked Questions on Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about non-citizen voting.

  1. What events led to non-citizen voting in San Francisco School Board elections?
  2. Why does the Department provide a notice to non-citizens on registration and voting materials?
  3. For which School Board elections will non-citizen voting be available?
  4. How will the Department of Elections prepare for non-citizen voting?
  5. How will the Department of Elections conduct outreach on non-citizen voting?
  6. Will all non-citizens be eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
  7. Are non-citizens whose children are not in school eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
  8. Are non-citizens, who do not reside in San Francisco themselves, but who care for children who reside or attend school in San Francisco, eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
  9. How will non-citizens determine if they are eligible to vote in School Board Elections?
  10. How can non-citizens register to vote in School Board elections?
  11. Where can non-citizens obtain a Voter Registration Form?
  12. Will non-citizens be able to register to vote online or when visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?
  13. When registering to vote, will non-citizens need to provide proof of their own or their child’s residency?
  14. What is the deadline to register to vote in San Francisco School Board election on November 6, 2018?
  15. Will non-citizen registration remain effective for future School Board elections?
  16. How can non-citizen voters learn about School Board candidates?
  17. What voting options will be available to non-citizen registrants?
  18. How will non-citizen voters who wish to vote by mail request a ballot?
  19. Will voting at the City Hall Voting Center be an option for non-citizen registrants?
  20. How will non-citizen voters find their assigned polling places?
  21. Which contests will be on the ballot for non-citizen voters?
  22. Will an accessible ballot be available to non-citizen voters?
  23. How will non-citizens vote at the polls?
  24. Will non-citizen voters need to show ID or provide other documents when voting in person at polling places or the City Hall Voting Center?
  25. Will registration and voting information of non-citizens remain confidential?
  26. Will the Department provide a letter confirming that non-citizens may vote in San Francisco?
  27. Will non-citizens be able to cancel their voter registration after having completed a Voter Registration Affidavit?
  28. Who can provide answers to specific immigration-related questions about non-citizen voting?

Background

  1. What events led to non-citizen voting in San Francisco School Board elections?
    In July of 2016, the Board of Supervisors voted to place Proposition N on the ballot. Proposition N proposed a change to the City Charter granting non-citizen San Francisco residents who are the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers of children themselves residing in San Francisco the right to vote for members of the Board of Education. In November of 2016, San Francisco voters passed Proposition N with fifty-four percent approval.

    Subsequently, in May of 2018, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring the Department of Elections (Department) to take certain steps in the implementation of Proposition N. This ordinance requires the Department to develop a non-citizen specific voter registration affidavit for School Board elections, to include a notice on all pertinent voter materials informing non-citizens that any information provided to the Department may be obtained by the federal government, and to create other documents related to non-citizen voting in School Board elections.
     
  2. Why does the Department provide a notice to non-citizens on registration and voting materials?
    Per Municipal Elections Code (MEC) §1003, the Department must include the following notice on the Voter Registration Affidavit in conspicuous type and with the words "IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR NON-UNITED STATES CITIZENS" appearing in capital letters.

            IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR NON-UNITED STATES CITIZENS
    Any information you provide to the Department of Elections, including your name and address, may be obtained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies, organizations, and individuals. In addition, if you apply for naturalization, you will be asked whether you have ever registered or voted in a federal, state, or local election in the United States. You may wish to consult with an immigration attorney, an organization that protects immigrant rights, or other knowledgeable source before providing any personal information to the Department of Elections and before registering to vote in San Francisco Board of Education Elections. You can find a list of nonprofit organizations that specialize in protecting the rights of immigrants on sfelections.org.

    In addition to appearing on the Voter Registration Affidavit, the notice above will appear on all non-citizen voting and outreach materials.

    The Department will translate and provide the notice in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Cebuano (Visayan), Chaozhou, Dutch, Farsi (Persian), Tagalog, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Ilocano, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Lao, Mandarin, Mien (Yao), Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Rumanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbo Croatian (Bosnian), Serbo Croatian (Croatian), Spanish, Taiwanese, Thai, Tigrinya, Toishanese, Tongan, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
     
  3. For which School Board elections will non-citizen voting be available?
    Non-citizens will be able to register and vote in the San Francisco School Board election in November 2018 and in every School Board election thereafter, scheduled every two years, through November 2022. After the November 2022 election, Proposition N’s non-citizen franchise will expire, unless the Board of Supervisors passes an ordinance specifically extending it.
     
  4. How will the Department of Elections prepare for non-citizen voting?
    The Department will prepare a “Non-Citizen Voter Registration Affidavit” as well as accompanying eligibility checklist in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino. This affidavit will be the sole means by which non-citizen voters can register to vote.

    The Department will also produce multilingual ballots presenting only the School Board contest as well as other election materials, including voter notification cards, vote-by-mail applications, and ballot pick-up authorization forms. The Department will mail a multilingual School Board Election Booklet with information about candidates running for the Board of Education to all non-citizen voters. The booklet, along with various voter tools, will be available on the Department’s website at sfelections.org.

    The Department will provide several voting options to non-citizen registrants, including voting at the City Hall Voting Center, at polling places, and by mail.
     
  5. How will the Department of Elections conduct outreach on non-citizen voting?
    The Department intends to conduct outreach through community-based organizations and will collaborate with various City agencies, including the San Francisco Unified School District, to build awareness of non-citizen suffrage. To this end, the Department may employ a variety of outreach methods, including in-person voter education presentations, radio advertisements, distribution of flyers, and publication of online and newspaper notices.

Eligibility

  1. Will all non-citizens be eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
    No. Non-citizens must meet several requirements before registering to vote in San Francisco School Board elections. A non-citizen registrant must be a resident of San Francisco, at least 18 years old on Election Day, and the parent, legal guardian or caregiver of a child under the age of 19 who also resides in San Francisco. Non-citizen residents imprisoned or on parole for conviction of a felony, or currently found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote, are not eligible.
     
  2. Are non-citizens whose children are not in school eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
    Yes. Otherwise qualified registrants caring for children who are not in school and reside in San Francisco are eligible to vote in School Board elections, provided these registrants are parents, legal guardians, or caregivers, as those terms are used in section 6550 of California Family Code, of the resident children.
     
  3. Are non-citizens, who do not reside in San Francisco themselves, but who care for children who reside or attend school in San Francisco, eligible to register to vote in San Francisco School Board elections?
    No. Both the prospective voters and their children must reside in San Francisco.
     
  4. How will non-citizens determine if they are eligible to vote in School Board Elections?
    As required under MEC §1004(b), the Department will provide a checklist of eligibility requirements for non-citizens on the Voter Registration Affidavit. The checklist will be available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

Registration

  1. How can non-citizens register to vote in School Board elections?
    Eligible non-citizens must complete a Non-Citizen Voter Registration Affidavit and return it to the Department by mail (postage paid) or in person. Once the form is processed, the Department will mail a Voter Notification Card to the registrant, generally within two weeks, to confirm registration. The Department will also notify registrants if their information is incomplete and requires further action.
     
  2. Where can non-citizens obtain a Voter Registration Form?
    A Voter Registration Form can be obtained by calling the Department at (415) 554-4375, at sfelections.org/noncitizen/registration, or in person at the Department’s office, Room 48 in City Hall.
     
  3. Will non-citizens be able to register to vote online or when visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?
    No. Currently, most residents of California can register to vote by completing the Secretary of State’s online application or when making a qualified transaction (e.g., obtaining a driver license, registering a vehicle) at the DMV. However, these applications require an attestation of U.S. citizenship, and are therefore not suitable for use by non-citizens. Non-citizens will need to use the Non-Citizen Voter Registration Affidavit developed by the Department.
     
  4. When registering to vote, will non-citizens need to provide proof of their own or their child’s residency?
    No. Completion of a non-citizen Voter Registration Affidavit will serve as proof of all eligibility requirements; registrants sign this document under penalty of perjury.
     
  5. What is the deadline to register to vote in San Francisco School Board election on November 6, 2018?
    The deadline to register to vote in the November 6, 2018, School Board election is fifteen days before the election, which is October 22; this deadline will apply to both non-citizen and citizen residents. However, after this deadline, those willing to visit the City Hall Voting Center in person can still register and vote via a process called “conditional voter registration.”
     
  6. Will non-citizen registration remain effective for future School Board elections?
    No. Eligible non-citizens must complete and provide to the Department a new Voter Registration Affidavit before every School Board election.

Voting

  1. How can non-citizen voters learn about School Board candidates?
    The Department will produce a School Board Election Booklet in English, Chinese, Spanish and Filipino with general information about the voting process, specific information about School Board candidates, and a sample ballot. This booklet will be mailed to all registered non-citizen voters approximately one month before the election. The booklet will also be available online at sfelections.org/noncitizen/booklet.
     
  2. What voting options will be available to non-citizen registrants?
    The Department will provide the same three voting options to non-citizen voters as it provides to citizen voters—voting by mail, voting at the City Hall Voting Center starting 29 days before the election, and voting at the polls on Election Day.
     
  3. How will non-citizen voters who wish to vote by mail request a ballot?
    The Department will adapt all vote-by-mail application methods to serve non-citizen voters, including online, telephone, mail, and in person applications. The deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot—October 30, 2018—will apply to both non-citizen and citizen voters.

    Approximately one month before the election, the Department will mail ballots presenting only the School Board contest to non-citizen voters who have requested to vote by mail, along with instructions on how to complete and return their ballots. Voters may mail their ballots to the Department postage paid, or return them in person to the Department’s office, to a drop-off station outside City Hall, or to any polling place on Election Day. Voters may also authorize someone to return the ballot for them.

    The Department will provide a toll-free telephone number by which non-citizen voters can confirm receipt and track the status of their vote-by-mail ballots.
     
  4. Will voting at the City Hall Voting Center be an option for non-citizen registrants?
    Yes. The Department will facilitate voting for both citizen and non-citizen voters at the City Hall Voting Center throughout the 29-day voting period (October 9, 2018 to Election Day, November 6, 2018).

    Voters may visit the Voting Center to register to vote, update their registrations, drop off their vote-by-mail ballots, or exchange spoiled ballots.

    Any eligible resident who has missed the registration deadline may visit the City Hall Voting Center through Election Day to conditionally register and vote a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted after the Department confirms the voter is properly registered and has not cast another ballot.

    Non-citizen voters who cast their vote at the Voting Center will be able to track the status of their ballots via a toll-free telephone number provided by the Department.
     
  5. How will non-citizen voters find their assigned polling places?
    Non-citizen voters can locate their assigned polling places by calling the Department at (415) 554-4375, going to sfelections.org/noncitizen/mypollingplace, or by checking the back cover of their School Board Election Booklet.
     
  6. Which contests will be on the ballot for non-citizen voters?
    Only the School Board contest will appear on the ballot for non-citizen voters. All ballot instructions and content will appear in four languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino.

    Non-citizens are not eligible to vote for candidates in any other federal, state, district, or local contests, or to vote on federal, state, regional, or local propositions.
     
  7. Will an accessible ballot be available to non-citizen voters?
    Yes. In addition to accessibility tools for paper ballots such as easy-grip pens and magnifying glasses, the Department will provide accessible touchscreen and audio versions of the ballot in English, Chinese (with both Cantonese and Mandarin audio), Spanish, and Filipino for non-citizen voters. Both paper ballot tools and accessible versions of the ballot will be available at the Department’s Voting Center in City Hall and at all polling places on Election Day.
     
  8. How will non-citizens vote at the polls?
    Polling place procedures for non-citizen voters will mirror those for citizen voters. Upon arrival, a poll worker will find the voter’s name and address in the roster, or list, of voters. Each roster will consist of two sections—one with records of citizen voters and another with records of non-citizen voters. After confirming name and address, the voter will be asked to sign the roster. The poll worker will then issue a secrecy folder and a ballot presenting only the School Board contest. After marking the ballot, the voter will insert it into an optical-scan voting machine for tabulation.
     
  9. Will non-citizen voters need to show ID or provide other documents when voting in person at polling places or the City Hall Voting Center?
    No. Non-citizen voters do not need to provide ID or any other documents to vote in School Board elections.
     
  10. Will registration and voting information of non-citizens remain confidential?
    No. Although voter registration information is generally confidential, under certain conditions stipulated by California Elections Code, the Department can provide some personal information, including residential addresses and voting history of non-citizen voters, to persons and agencies for bona fide election-related, scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purposes.

    Additionally, the information on rosters (see question 23), including the names and residential addresses of non-citizen voters, are accessible to poll workers, members of the general public, election observers, and government agencies.
     
  11. Will the Department provide a letter confirming that non-citizens may vote in San Francisco?
    Yes. The Department provide, upon request, a letter a) enumerating the criteria set forth in Charter §13.111(a)(1) for non-United States citizen voting in San Francisco School Board elections, and b) verifying that a certain person voted in a specific School Board election. Such letters are intended to confirm the right to vote granted to non-citizens under the San Francisco Charter and to serve as evidentiary support for naturalization application purposes.
     
  12. Will non-citizens be able to cancel their voter registration after having completed a Voter Registration Affidavit?
    Yes. Non-citizens who wish to cancel their voter registration must complete and provide to the Department a Request to Cancel Voter Registration (PDF). A Request to Cancel Voter Registration Form can be obtained by calling the Department at (415) 554-4375, at sfelections.org/noncitizen/registration, or in person at the Department’s office, Room 48 in City Hall.
     
  13. Who can provide answers to specific immigration-related questions about non-citizen voting?
    The Department will maintain a webpage on sfelections.org listing organizations with tax exempt status under 26 United States Code Section 9501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) whose primary mission is protecting the rights of immigrants. The Department will also create a form organizations may use to affirm that they meet these criteria.

Immigration-Related Resources

The Department of Elections can provide, upon request, a letter confirming that certain non-citizens are eligible to vote in San Francisco School Board elections. Such letter is intended to confirm the right to vote granted to non-citizens under the San Francisco Charter and to serve as evidentiary support for naturalization application purposes.

The links below provide information on immigration-related matters.

San Francisco Rapid Response Network
San Francisco Immigration Support
Sanctuary City Ordinance
San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative