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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Before you vote…

Election season is coming up, so here’s what you need to know before election day on Nov. 6.

Before You Vote

Before thinking about what or who to vote for, you’ll need to register. The voter registration deadline by mail and online was Oct. 22. But this is the first election to allow Conditional Voter Registration, meaning that a voter’s ballot will only be counted after verifying a voter’s registration information. California voters can register and vote in-person at their elections office until Nov. 5.

“Registering and voting on the same day was a brilliant thing,” said Dan Rogers, a San Mateo county vote center worker. “We still expect the sixth to be the busiest day.”

For San Francisco residents, the only place to register past Oct. 22 is at San Francisco’s City Hall.

You don’t need to provide anything other than your completed registration form for Conditional Voter Registration, according to SF Elections Department director John Arntz.

If you’ve already registered, you have until Oct. 30 to request a ballot by mail.

A California ID or Driver’s License and the last four digits of your Social Security Number is required to register in-person.

To register, citizens must also not have been found mentally incompetent, and not be on parole or in prison for a felony.

The Voting Process

Take a look here for your polling place if you live off campus in San Francisco. If you don’t live in San Francisco, you can find your polling place here from the California Secretary of State.

While media outlets often report on long lines snaking around the block at polling places, the process is usually quick, according to Tiffany Lee, outreach coordinator for the San Francisco Elections Department.

“We do have a lot people assisting to vote,” Lee said. “If you’ve done your research, it’ll only take about 15 or 20 minutes.”

Below are some options on campus to vote on election day. Voters don’t have to vote at the polling place assigned to them.

Firehouse #19 at 390 Buckingham Way is the closest to University Park North.

The Russian Hill room of the Seven Hills Conference Center, next to the Dining Center, is closest to living spaces such as Mary Park Hall, Mary Ward and Centennial Square

The lobby of Park Merced on 50 Chumasero Drive between Font Blvd. and Galindo Ave. is the closest polling place for those living near Park Merced.

Once at the polling location, a worker will request either a completed voter registration form, registration information, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, or your California ID or Driver’s License.

For first time voters, poll workers might ask for identification along with a registration form. The full list of identification is listed here, courtesy of the California Secretary of State.

In short, anything since 2016 that establishes individuals as having a California address should work, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Once you’re processed into the system, voters get either a paper ballot or an accessible voting machine with instructions.

Try to register and vote early, especially since Nov. 6 will probably be a lot busier.

Early voting takes place at City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, October 27th, 2018. (Mira Laing/Golden Gate Xpress)
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Before you vote…