Vote at Your Polling Place

Voters participating in an election at a San Francisco polling place


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

If you plan to vote at a polling place on Election Day, 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 in the upcoming election, or want to learn more about the different voting options that will be available, we invite you to visit the Ways to Vote page.

Voting Tip: Use your Ballot Worksheet!

With so many items on the ballot in the upcoming election, the Ballot Worksheet (PDF) can make voting in person quicker and easier. This worksheet, which lists every contest and measure throughout the City, is a tool to help voters mark their selections in advance to save time and prevent mistakes when marking the official ballot. The worksheet is also available in the Voter Information Pamphlet, sent to every voter in early October.

Polling Place Resources

All 588 polling places will be open for in-person voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop-off from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

All polling places in the City will offer bilingual paper ballots in English and either Chinese, Spanish, or Filipino, as well as language assistance from bilingual poll workers on request. In certain neighborhoods, as designated by the Secretary of State, polling places will also offer facsimile (reference) ballots in Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. See a list of polling places and ballot drop-off locations along with language assistance and facsimile ballots provided at sites that will be open in San Francisco on Election Day, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All polling places will also offer accessible voting tools such as page magnifiers, pen grips, and seated voting, as well as accessible ballot-marking devices with touchscreen/audio format and personal assistive device compatibility.

Any voter may bring up to two people to the polls to assist them, as long as those people are not representatives of the voter’s employer or union.

Any voter may request to vote “curbside” at any polling place by calling (415) 554-4375 or by asking a companion to enter the polling place to request delivery of voting materials to the voter outside.

Poll workers, many of whom are bilingual, are another resource available to voters, as they can provide assistance and materials, answer questions, and help voters navigate the voting process. (Interested in serving your community as a poll worker on Election Day? Apply today!)

Standard Voting

For most San Franciscans, voting at a polling place involves three basic steps: First, a poll worker will find the voter’s name and address in the roster and issue an official ballot, along with a secrecy folder. (The voter may also choose to use the accessible ballot-marking device to mark their ballot.) Second, the voter will take the ballot to a voting booth, make selections, and place the marked ballot into the secrecy folder. Finally, the voter will insert the marked ballot cards into to the scanning machine and receive an “I Voted!” sticker.

If a voter is registered to vote only in the Board of Education election per Proposition N, the poll worker will issue an “EDU” ballot listing the Board of Education contest only. (Proposition N extended voting rights in local 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, who are the parents, legal guardians, or legally recognized caregivers of children under the age of 19 living in San Francisco.) Visit the Non-Citizen Voting and Registration page for more information.

Conditional Voter Registration and Provisional Voting

If a voter is not registered in the polling place’s precinct, or is not registered to vote at all, the voter’s name will not be listed on the polling place roster. In that case, the voter can choose to vote provisionally and provide registration information on the provisional envelope, using the Conditional Voter Registration process. Then, if the voter is eligible to vote in San Francisco, Department staff will process the voter’s registration information and count the voter’s provisional ballot. Visit the Conditional Voter Registration and Provisional Voting page for more information.

If a voter, whose registration record does not include identification information, is participating for the first time in a federal election, a poll worker will ask the voter to provide a form of photo or residence identification (most voters already have this information in their voter records and will not be asked to show any identification). If such a voter does not provide identification, the voter can still vote provisionally. Visit the California Secretary of State’s HAVA Identification Standards page for more information..

Polling Place Assignments and Wait Times

Voters across the city live in different combinations of jurisdictions (e.g., Congressional, State Senatorial, State Assembly, City Supervisorial, and BART districts), and are assigned to voting precincts based on where they live. Polling place ballots contain different combinations of contests and candidates, depending on the jurisdictions in those precincts. (To look up your districts, use the Voter Portal or view a district map).

That is why it is generally a good idea to vote at your assigned polling place – if you vote at another voting site, you will need to vote provisionally and you may miss the chance to vote in some contests. Further, the Department will only be able to count votes in contests that also appeared on the ballot in your precinct.

Voters can use the Voting Locations and Wait Times Tool to find information about their assigned polling place, including the type of facility (such as school or public library), cross streets, accessibility information (such as slope at the entrance).

The Voting Locations and Wait Times Tool also reports wait times at in-person voting sites across the City, and allows voters to identify sites with the same ballot type (i.e. same contests and candidates) as the voter’s assigned polling place.

Polling Place Health and Safety

If you decide to vote in person in the upcoming election, please remember to wear a face covering so you can protect public health and comply with local law.

In compliance with current guidance from public health officials, the Department of Elections has adopted several new health and safety protocols at its in-person voting locations. The Department will offer hand sanitizer, gloves, and facemasks to all voters and poll workers, and post notices asking voters and observers to follow health guidelines, including those regarding facial coverings, hand hygiene, and social distancing rules, at all polling places.

Poll workers will also set up each polling place to maintain 6-foot distances between tables, voting booths, and voting equipment. The layouts of polling places will continue to take into account the needs of voters with disabilities, so that such voters can move freely through polling places and vote privately and independently.

As part of its effort to protect public health in the upcoming election, the Department will also introduce new sanitation and disinfection protocols for the voting supplies and equipment used at polling places. Hand sanitizers and EPA-approved disinfectants will be available at all sites and all elections workers will be trained on how to regularly clean check-in stations, ballot-marking pens, voting booths, voting equipment, and other high touch areas.