Registration for Special Circumstances

Elections staff assisting a customer over the counter

 

The Department of Elections strives to ensure every eligible San Francisco resident has the opportunity to register and vote. If any of these circumstances apply to you, read on for important information. For more information, contact us through our contact form or call (415) 554-4375.

Military and Overseas Voters

You can qualify as a Military or Overseas voter if you are eligible to vote in California, absent from the county in which you are eligible to vote, and you are:

  • A member of the active or reserve components of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; a Merchant Marine; a member of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps of the United States; or a member on activated status of the National Guard or state militia
  • A spouse or dependent of a person described above; or
  • A U.S. citizen living outside of the territorial limits of the United States

For information on how to apply and options to receive and return your ballot, visit our Military and Overseas Voters page.

Voters without a Fixed Address

To register to vote without a fixed street address, you may describe where you live by providing intersecting cross-streets on your registration application.

Because where you live determines which contests and candidates appear on your ballot, you may not provide a post office box or business address as your residential address. However, you may provide a post office box or business address as your mailing address in order to receive your Sample Ballot and other official election materials by mail.

Voters with Criminal Convictions

California law allows people with a criminal history to register and vote. In addition to standard qualifications to register, there are specific conditions related to voting with a criminal conviction.

You can register and vote if you:

  • Are in county jail:
    • Serving a misdemeanor sentence
    • Serving a felony jail sentence
    • Serving time as a condition of probation for a misdemeanor or felony conviction
    • Awaiting trial
  • Are on probation
  • Are on mandatory supervision
  • Are on post-release community supervision
  • Are on federal supervised release
  • Previously received a juvenile wardship adjudication

If you or someone you know is detained in a San Francisco County jail and meets any of the conditions listed above, contact Prisoner Legal Services to learn more about voting options.

Prisoner Legal Services
(415) 558-2472
555 7th Street, #201
San Francisco, CA 94103

You cannot register or vote if you are:

  • Imprisoned in:
    • State prison
    • Federal prison
  • Currently serving a state prison felony sentence in a county jail or other correctional facility
  • Currently on parole with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
    • Once you have completed parole, your right to vote is restored, but you must submit a new Voter Registration Application

Voters in College

The residential address where you are registered determines which contests and candidates appear on your ballot.

If you attend school away from home, you have the option to register to vote in either the county where you attend school or the county in which you permanently reside; you may not register to vote in both counties.

If you choose to vote by mail, you may provide a mailing address that is different from your residential address where you wish to receive your ballot and official election materials.

Confidential Voters

If you face certain life-threatening situations, you may qualify for confidential voter status. For information, visit the Safe at Home page on the Secretary of State’s website.

New Citizen Voters

If you are a new citizen of the United States and you live in San Francisco, you can register to vote online or submit a paper Voter Registration Form. Visit the Registration Basics page.

If you become a citizen after the registration deadline for an election, you may register and vote at the Department of Elections in City Hall, Room 48, until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Visit the Vote at the City Hall Voting Center page.

Non-citizen Voters (Board of Education Elections)

In the November 8, 2016, Consolidated General Election, San Francisco voters approved Proposition N: Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections by a vote of 54% to 46%.

Proposition N is a Charter amendment that allows a non-citizen resident of San Francisco who is of legal voting age, not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction, and the parent, legal guardian, or legally recognized caregiver of a child under the age of 19 living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education.

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. School Board elections are scheduled every two years. The opportunity for non-citizens to vote in School Board elections is set to expire after the 2022 election unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.

As the Department of Elections continues to work with stakeholders and community activists to incorporate non-citizen voting into current election processes, more information will be made available on this page. For more information, contact us through our contact form or call (415) 554-4375.

Frequently Asked Questions for Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections.

Legal Text of the Charter Amendment (PDF)

Voters who Miss the Registration Deadline

If you missed the deadline to register to vote, it’s not too late!

Conditional Voter Registration (CVR), which was enacted in 2012 and became operative on January 1, 2017, extends the existing 15-day registration deadline in California to eligible voters. During the 14 days prior to and including Election Day, Tuesday, June 5, San Franciscans who missed the registration deadline, can come to the Department of Elections’ Voting Center in City Hall to register to vote and cast a provisional CVR ballot. Review the following FAQs to learn more about CVR.

  1. I missed the registration deadline for the June 5 election, can I still vote?
  2. What are Voting Center hours during CVR period?
  3. Will I be able to cast a CVR provisional ballot on the same day I register to vote?
  4. Can I register to vote after the registration deadline and before I come to the Voting Center to cast a CVR provisional ballot?
  5. Can I register to vote after the registration deadline and request a CVR provisional ballot be sent to me in the mail?
  6. What is the process for casting a CVR provisional ballot?
  7. Are accessible voting options available to CVR voters?
  8. When will the Department of Elections begin processing and counting CVR provisional ballots?
  9. How can I check if my CVR provisional ballot was counted?
  10. Will my registration be valid for the next election if I conditionally register during the CVR period?
  11. When is the deadline to register to vote for the June 5 election?
  12. How can I check if I am registered to vote in San Francisco?
  13. I moved within San Francisco and did not update my address before the registration deadline. Where can I vote?
  14. I moved to San Francisco from another county or state and did not re-register in San Francisco. Where can I vote?
  15. With Conditional Voter Registration now being available through Election Day, what is the need for the 15-day cutoff for regular registration?
  16. What if I have questions or need help?
  1. I missed the registration deadline for the June 5 election, can I still vote?
    Yes! If you missed the registration deadline on May 21, you can register to vote and cast a provisional CVR ballot at the Department of Elections’ Voting Center in City Hall, Room 48 during voting hours from Tuesday, May 22 to Election Day, Tuesday, June 5.
  2. What are Voting Center hours during CVR period?
    The CVR period begins on Tuesday, May 22 and continues until Election Day, Tuesday, June 5. During this period, the Voting Center is open as follows:
    • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Memorial Day)
    • Saturday and Sunday, two weekends before Election Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Election Day, Tuesday, June 5, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  3. Will I be able to cast a CVR provisional ballot on the same day I register to vote?
    Yes. You will be able to register and vote a CVR provisional ballot at the same time, but only at the Department of Elections’ Voting Center in City Hall, Room 48. By law, CVR is not offered at polling places on Election Day.
  4. Can I register to vote after the registration deadline and before I come to the Voting Center to cast a CVR provisional ballot?
    Yes. You can register online at registertovote.ca.gov or bring your completed voter registration card to the Voting Center. When you arrive, Department staff will process your registration prior to issuing you a CVR provisional ballot.
  5. Can I register to vote after the registration deadline and request a CVR provisional ballot be sent to me in the mail?
    No. A CVR voter must be issued a CVR provisional ballot at the Department of Elections’ Voting Center in City Hall, Room 48.
  6. What is the process for casting a CVR provisional ballot?
    When you arrive to the Voting Center, fill out a voter registration card (unless you have already filled out an application online or brought a completed card with you) and a ballot application.
    When you reach one of the stations at the Voting Center, Department staff will process your registration and provide you with the ballot and a CVR provisional envelope.
    After marking your ballot, seal ballot cards in the envelope, complete the required information on the envelope, and sign the envelope. Remove the detachable receipt from the envelope and drop the envelope into a ballot return Red Box. You can use your receipt to check the status of your CVR provisional ballot.
  7. Are accessible voting options available to CVR voters?
    Yes. CVR voters can use an accessible voting machine to cast their vote by using either a touchscreen or audio ballot, or any other assistive tools available at the City Hall Voting Center.
  8. When will the Department of Elections begin processing and counting CVR provisional ballots?
    CVR provisional ballots will be processed and counted in accordance with the vote-by-mail provisions of California Elections Code commencing with section 15100, which allows for vote-by-mail ballots to be processed beginning on the 10th business day prior to the election.
    Your ballot will be counted after Department staff process your voter registration and confirm you did not already vote in the election.
  9. How can I check if my CVR provisional ballot was counted?
    Use the Provisional Ballot Status Lookup Tool to check the status of your ballot by entering the number located on the receipt from your CVR Provisional Ballot Envelope.
    You can also call the Department of Elections’ toll-free telephone number, (866) 325-9163, or (415) 554-4375.
  10. Will my registration be valid for the next election if I conditionally register during the CVR period?
    Yes. You will be registered to vote under the name and address you provided on your voter registration card. Note that you will need to update your registration anytime you move, change your name, or change your political party preference.
  11. When is the deadline to register to vote for the June 5 election?
    The deadline to register to vote for the June 5 election is Monday, May 21, which is 15 days before Election Day.
  12. How can I check if I am registered to vote in San Francisco?
    Use the Voter Registration Status Lookup Tool or contact the Department at (415) 554-4375 to confirm your registration status in San Francisco.
    To check if you are registered to vote in another county, visit voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.
  13. I moved within San Francisco and did not update my address before the registration deadline. Where can I vote?
    If you are registered to vote in San Francisco and moved within the City after the registration deadline, you can vote a provisional ballot at your new polling place on Election Day or a CVR provisional ballot at the City Hall Voting Center.
    To check the location of your new polling place, use the Polling Place and Sample Ballot Lookup Tool.
  14. I moved to San Francisco from another county or state and did not re-register in San Francisco. Where can I vote?
    You can register and vote a CVR provisional ballot at the City Hall Voting Center during voting hours from Tuesday, May 22 to Election Day, Tuesday, June 5.
  15. With Conditional Voter Registration now being available through Election Day, what is the need for the 15-day cutoff for regular registration?
    The 15-day cutoff is still important for determining which voters are included on the polling place Rosters of Voters and are eligible to vote at the polls.
  16. What if I have questions or need help?
    If you have questions about CVR or other election- or voting-related matters, contact the Department of Elections:
            Email: SFVote@sfgov.org
            Telephone: (415) 554-4375 or (866) 325-9163 toll free
            TTY:  (415) 554-4386
            In person: City Hall, Room 48, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.