Oakland Voting FAQ

Why vote for school board members?

Oakland’s public education system needs great leaders throughout the community in order to give our kids a quality school in every neighborhood. The leadership starts with families and educators and continues up to the school board. Oakland Unified School District’s board is responsible for a budget of more than $600 million and for setting the vision and direction for our kids and district.


How Do I Register?

If you are U.S. citizen, California resident, and will be 18 years of age by the November 8, 2016, Election Day, then you are eligible to vote, but you must register at least 15 days before election day.

To register, you must fill out either a paper or online voter registration application. Paper applications are available at the Alameda County Elections Office (1225 Fallon Street, Rm. G-1, Oakland, CA 94612), the Department of Motor Vehicles, some post offices, public libraries, and government offices.


What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked Choice Voting allows you to rank your first, second, and third choice candidate for a single office. The system allows voters to elect local officials, like school board members, by majority decision without the need for a runoff election.

Ways to Vote

In Person

Once you are registered you will receive notification of your polling place on your sample ballot or you can find your polling place here.

View a sample ballot and watch a demonstration of the voting system.


Vote by Mail

Vote by mail allows voters to cast a ballot without going to a polling place. To vote by mail you must apply to do so and the Registrar’s office mails a ballot to you beginning 29 days before an election.

You return the ballot to the election office by either mailing it (with the correct postage), dropping it off at a polling place, or returning it to the Office of Registrar. Ballots must be returned to a polling place or the Office of Registrar by Election Day or they must be postmarked on or before Election Day. Read more information about vote by mail.

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