The Department of Elections Encourages Voters to Take Advantage of Multilingual Resources

February 22, 2024

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director

For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Thursday, February 22, 2024 – Offering the opportunity to use multilingual resources is a vital part of the Department of Elections’ mission to provide equitable access to voting services while conducting free, fair, and functional elections. Any local voter may opt to use official election resources in a language other than English by requesting translated materials and/or multilingual language assistance.

“For the March 5 election, we continue to make a concerted effort to publicize the availability of multilingual election resources, which include personal assistance as well as many translated materials,” said Director John Arntz. “We also continue to ensure all of our voter-facing employees, poll workers, and City Hall Voting Center representatives can offer multilingual, culturally competent services to all San Francisco voters.”

In this election, the Department will provide all of its public materials in Chinese and in Spanish, as required by Department of Justice minority language determinations made pursuant to §203 of the Voting Rights Act. In addition, the Department will provide all of those materials in Filipino as required by San Francisco’s Language Access Ordinance, as well as certain additional materials (including, e.g., reference ballots in Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese), as required by current California Secretary of State determinations made pursuant to the provisions of California Elections Code §14201.

Earlier this year, the Department mailed out a notice advising each recipient that ballots and election materials would be available in multiple languages and formats and explaining how to select a language preference. Local voters also saw a similar notice on the outside of their vote-by-mail packet envelopes. This second notice – which explained how to request a translated March 5 ballot – was printed in eight languages (Chinese, Filipino, Spanish, Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese). As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage local voters to take advantage of these multilingual materials, the Department now reminds San Francisco residents that all of the following resources are still available to any interested voter:

  • Voting Guide – Any local voter may request a copy of their Voter Information Pamphlet in English, Chinese, Spanish, or Filipino by mail, online at, or in person at any local voting site. Translated copies of the state Voter Information Guide are available via
  • Bilingual Ballots – All San Francisco ballots are bilingual, with instructions and contests in Chinese, Spanish, or Filipino, along with English. Any voter can submit a request for their preferred bilingual format at, by contacting the Department, or by communicating with a poll worker at any voting site. Any voter can also choose any bilingual ballot format through the City’s accessible vote-by-mail system at; this system also offers several accessibility features.
  • Facsimile Ballots – Any voter can request a facsimile ballot in Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, or Vietnamese, to reference when marking their official ballot. Any voter may submit a request for a facsimile ballot by mail or email at or by contacting the Department. All 501 polling places and the City Hall Voting Center will offer facsimile ballots in all five languages.
  • Personal Assistance – Voters can identify any bilingual poll workers assigned to their polling place by referring to poll worker nametags. Voters can also visit the City Hall Voting Center to request live multilingual personal assistance or phone translation via (415) 554-4375 in over 200 languages.
  • The Department’s website features nearly 50 pages translated into Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino. For the convenience of San Franciscans who prefer to receive their election information in languages other than English, every page of the website displays language options prominently and consistently, allowing for easy toggling between languages.

Up through Election Day, multilingual Department outreach staff will conduct accessible outreach events in many neighborhoods with larger populations who speak languages other than English. Outreach staff will be on hand at these events to raise awareness about the availability of translated materials and personal assistance in this election and to answer any questions members of the public may have about this topic.

Any local voter who would prefer to receive translated materials on a permanent basis can submit a request via or by contacting the Department. After such a request is made, the voter’s official election materials will automatically be delivered in that language in all upcoming election cycles.


Department of Elections

City and County of San Francisco

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

City Hall, Room 48

San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 554-4375