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

 

The Board of Supervisors voted to place Proposition N on the ballot for the November 2016 election. Voters approved the measure by a vote of 54% to 46%, allowing non-citizen residents of San Francisco to vote for members of the Board of Education.

1. When will non-citizen voting be available?

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 School Board 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.

The Department of Elections is working with stakeholders and community activists to incorporate non-citizen voting into current election processes.

2. Can all non-citizens register and vote in School Board elections?

No. To register and vote in School Board elections, the person who is not a citizen must be:

  • A resident of San Francisco
  • At least 18 years old before or on Election Day
  • The parent, legal guardian, or legally recognized caregiver of a child from birth through age 18 living in the San Francisco Unified School District
  • Not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction

3. I am a San Francisco resident and my child goes to private school. Am I eligible?

Yes, as long as your child is under the age of 19 and you meet the other eligibility requirements described in item 2 above.

4. I am a San Francisco resident and I have a child who is not of school age. Am I eligible?

Yes, as long as your child is under the age of 19 and you meet the other eligibility requirements described in item 2 above.

5. My family lives in Alameda but my child goes to school in San Francisco. Am I eligible?

No, because you must be a resident of San Francisco in order to be eligible to register and vote in School Board elections.

6. I am a non-citizen resident of San Francisco and have a child. How can I sign up?

The Department of Elections will provide registration forms and other voting information. Because voter eligibility requirements are different under this measure than under state election law, logistical details are being discussed and considered as we implement this process.

7. After I sign up, will I receive any information?

Yes. For each election, the Department of Elections will produce and mail a Voter Information Pamphlet with information specific to non-citizen voters in School Board election.

8. Will my ballot have other contests besides the Board of Education contest?

No, if you are not a citizen, your ballot will not have federal, state, or other local or district contests, because non-citizens are not eligible to vote in these contests. The ballot for non-citizens will include the contest for Board of Education only.

9. Will an accessible ballot be available to non-citizen voters?

Yes, in addition to a paper ballot, an audio ballot and a touchscreen ballot with large print will be available. All formats of the ballot will be available in English, Chinese (with Cantonese and Mandarin audio), Spanish, and Filipino.

10. How will the Department of Elections inform San Francisco residents about non-citizen voting?

The Department of Elections intends to work with the San Francisco Unified School District and other government agencies to let the public know about non-citizen voting. In addition to posting information on sfelections.org and producing a Voter Information Pamphlet specifically for non-citizen voters, the Department may use other outreach methods, such as voter education presentations and newspaper notices.

11. What should I do if I have more questions about non-citizen voting?

If you have questions, please contact the Department of Elections by emailing SFVote@sfgov.org or calling (415) 554-4375.