Vibemap's guide to voting early and map of ballot drop offs in San Francisco
We've been inspired by Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other leaders who've been helping people to make a plan to vote during the 2020 election. After you've received your ballot and filled it out, you might be wondering, "Where do I drop off my ballot in San Francisco?" We've got that answer covered for you with our favorite ballot drop off spots around town coordinated with a day or afternoon of supporting small and local businesses.
Below are our picks for the top locations to drop off your ballot in San Francisco and tips for what to do nearby.
- Not sure of your voting status? Check here to make sure you’re registered to vote.
- This guide is just for those looking to drop off their mail-in ballot. If you’re looking to vote in person, look up your polling place here.
- Wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay safe.
- Read the rules closely before you go on your journey to drop off your ballot or vote. We want your vote to count!
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Ballot Drop-Off - Oct 5th to Nov 3rd
The crème de la crème of voting in San Francisco. There's nothing quite like the feeling of civic pride you get from returning your ballot and getting an "I Voted" sticker at City Hall in Civic Center.
This year you can vote between October 5th and Nov 3rd at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. You probably have been here in the before times to check out a rock or EDM concert. The election center is large, safe, and easy to use. Enter from Larkin Street and either drop off your ballot in a secure box or wait for one of the voting booths. When we went at noon on a weekday, we didn't have to wait in line at all.
Afterwards, listen to a classic song in honor of the music promoter Bill Graham who helped San Francisco artists like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane to make their mark. Graham was also a long supporter of artists' rights and political and activist causes, like the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Also check out the signs outside the concern hall with the words of Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, and Jimi Hendrix.
Photo from @billgrahamcivic
Photo by Jennifer Cooper
You also might walk down Market Street on the new artwork at the corner of Larkin and Market. It's a good spot to take a bike. Or stroll over over to Hayes Valley & Patricia's Green which is closed to cars. pizza at Gioia, ice cream at Smitten, or a cocktail at Anina all seem like a good way to celebrate.
Chase Center Ballot Drop-Off - Oct 31st to Nov 3rd
If you’re a local sports fan, you might want to show up in your Golden State Warriors colors and vote as part of an initiative by several NBA team to use their sports arenas as polling places, including Chase Center. Before or after you vote, take a look at your reflection and congratulate yourself at the Seeing Spheres.
We miss the live sports and music that you'd normally be able to catch at the Chase Center, but you still can support one of the great local businesses that have locations at or near the stadium. Two of our favorite spots in Oakland for example, Bake Sale Betty & Brown Sugar Kitchen are still serving and taking togo orders. Or if you're looking for some relaxing bay views right after you vote, walk over to the Mission Rock Resort or pick from one of several cool patios near Mission Bay and the Dogpatch.
Bayview/Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library Drop-Off
One of two local library drop-off spots is the Bayview Linda Brooks-Buron Branch Library. Walk the slow street along Lane Street for a little sightseeing. Check out the old school vibes of the Bayview Opera House and one of our all time favorite places for floral vibes, Flora Grubb Gardens. After you vote, treat yourself to Yvonne's Southern Sweets or maybe a savory pizza at the All Good Pizza Patio.
Excelsior Branch Library Ballot Drop-Off
The other library drop-off location is the San Francisco Public Library Excelsior Branch. We recommend filling an afternoon with pupusas from Pacitas Salvadorean or banh mis from Ty’s and walking down the Excelsior Avenue slow street to McLauren Park for good views and dog watching.
Drop off your ballot at a mailbox!
The classic choice if you're looking for more places to drop off your San Francisco ballot. Drop off at your own mailbox or make an outing of it. We’ve got three vibey suggestions to help guide your San Francisco drop-off ballot adventures or you can build your own adventure.
In Solidarity Vibes: Mail your ballot in the Castro
Celebrate LBGTQ history in the Castro by dropping your ballot off at the Castro Post Office. Afterwards, head to Harvey Milk Plaza to pay homage to Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay person to be elected in California to a public office. Finally, head to local historic gay bar Twin Peak’s Tavern & classic diner Orphan Andy’s who are collaborating to offer outdoor drinks and burgers.
Old School Vibes: Mail your ballot in SOMA
Soak in San Francisco post office history by first to heading Rincon Center where you can drop off your ballot. You may not be able to go inside to see the Anton Refregier murals, but appreciate the unique 1940’s Art Moderne architecture. Afterwards, walk by the old Ferry Station Post Office at Embarcadero & Mission before grabbing an outdoor lunch at Gott's at the Ferry Building.
Playtime Vibes: Mail your ballot at Ocean Beach
Start from anywhere in San Francisco and bike to Ocean Beach. Drop off your ballot at Irving & La Playa Streets and take a walk on the beach. Afterwards, window browse at Mollusk Surf Shop and grab a coffee at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company.
More Ways to Get in Involved
After you vote early, we recommend heading to Manny’s who have been offering phone banking opportunities every Monday (Sign up here). It's right along the stretch of Valencia Street which is closed to cars and open to people! We love the fresh and spicy vibes at West of Pecos for example or the tunes at the Valencia Room. You might also stroll by the Women's Building in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote. You also might consider supporting the League of Women Voters and Voto Latino.
About the Author:
Steve is a civic technologist and co-Founder of Vibemap working at the intersection of people, data, and civic life. He enjoys enjoying art and nature and is an advocate for public transportation, livable urban centers, and government innovation.
Steve's Vibes: local, friendly, unexpected, vibrant, reuniting with an old friend in dimly lit neighborhood hangouts, getting lost in some rugged urban beauty.