About us

What we do

Our duties include, but are not limited to:

  • before each election, approving written plans for how the election will be conducted. The Department of Elections prepares these plans.

  • assessing how well the plan worked in carrying out a free, fair and functional election.

  • setting general policies for the Department of Elections

  • administering general practices of the Department, subject to the budgetary and fiscal provisions of the San Francisco Charter.

The Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee reviews the Department’s annual budget and election plans. They make recommendations on those to the full Commission.


The Commission has 7 members who serve 5-year terms.

Each of the following appoint 1 member:

  • Mayor. The Mayor's appointee must have a background in the electoral process.
  • Board of Supervisors
  • City Attorney. The City Attorney's appointee must have a background in elections law.
  • Public Defender
  • District Attorney
  • Treasurer. The Treasurer's appointee must have a background in financial management.
  • Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District

Members appointed by the District Attorney, Public Defender, the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District, and the Board of Supervisors must be broadly representative of the general public.

Members of the Commission are officers of the City and County of San Francisco. They owe a duty of loyalty to, and must act in the best interests of, the City and County.

The Commissioners neither represent nor owe a duty of loyalty to the person or organization that appointed them.

Commissioners must use their independent judgment about what is in the best interest of the City.

Members of the Commission serve without compensation.

Our history

The Elections Commission was established by San Francisco Charter § 13.103.5 pursuant to a Charter amendment called Proposition E. Voters passed Proposition E in the November 6, 2001 Consolidated Municipal Election.

The Elections Commission assumed policy-making authority and oversight of all public federal, state, district and municipal elections in the City and County of San Francisco effective January 1, 2002.