Decision 2020

San Francisco Rolls Out Efforts to Make Voting Safe, Easy

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The city of San Francisco says it's ready to make voting during the coronavirus pandemic as easy and safe as possible.

"We’re not going to let COVID stop us from making sure that you have access to vote in San Francisco at your convenience," Mayor London Breed said Thursday.

The city unveiled a brand new voting center outside city hall where early voting will start as soon as Monday.

"Although we can’t do what we’ve done in the past and provide early voting in city hall, we are going to be doing early voting right outside on Grove Street in what looks like a beautiful party tent," Breed said.

People who visit the tent will have to follow coronavirus-related rules.

"Everything that’s happening here at Bill Graham Auditorium is organized so that people can maintain social distancing," San Francisco Department of Elections Director John Arntz said.

People can also drop off a mail-in ballot at the new voting center, but if it's too far or too busy, there are 588 other locations across the city where people can vote in person or drop off a ballot.

Breed said what's different this year is that the city will mail ballots to every registered voter.

You may think taking a pass on voting this year means you're rising above the system. But here's the truth: you're part of the system whether you participate or not.

People who plan on using a mail-in ballot should mail it back before Election Day.

"There are, unfortunately, thousands of ballots each time where people just mail it too late in the day it doesn’t get postmarked," State Senator Scott Wiener said.

To make sure votes get counted, San Francisco is giving ballots 17 days after Election Day to arrive — instead of the usual three days — just in case there are any issues with the postal service.

"There is no excuse for anyone in the city who is a registered voter not to a vote," Breed said.

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