Election Information: Election FAQs and General Information 

Election FAQs

1. When do we get official election results?
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters must certify the election results by the 28th day after the election.  Please contact the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at 510-267-8683 or www.acgov.org/rov/current.htm for up to date results.

The City Council will certify the results and the new members will be sworn in at the next regular council meeting after the Registrar certifies the election.

2. When do all the campaign signs come down?
Signs for candidates and ballot measures are required to be removed 15 days after Election Day.  Candidates and committees may face fines if signs are not removed from public right-of-ways, which includes medians, sidewalks, parks, utility boxes and poles.

Residents who see political signs on public property in Berkeley, should report sign locations to the campaign committees, who are responsible for taking them down.  If the phone number is not listed, or you would like the contact information for one of the ballot measure committees, please call the City Clerk Department at 510-981-6900.

3. What does it take to win a Council seat?
Under the Ranked-Choice Voting system, a candidate for Mayor, Auditor, or City Council must receive a majority of votes to be elected.

4. How does the Rent Board election work?
Rent Board Commissioners are elected by a plurality vote.  The terms are four years.

5. How does the School Board election work?
School Board Directors are elected by a plurality vote.  The terms are four years.

6. What does it take for a ballot measure to pass?
Bond measures and certain other special taxes generally require a 2/3 majority vote.  Initiatives, referendum measures, and charter amendments require a simple majority vote.

Additional Information
On Election Day, polls will be open from 7am - 8pm. Polling Places may change from election to election - be sure to verify your polling location by checking the the Voter Pamphlet/Sample Ballot you received in the mail or checking online with the Registrar of Voters online lookup tool.

Vote-by-Mail voters may drop off their voted vote-by-mail ballot in the ballot box in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Building at 2180 Milvia Street.  The drop off box is available 24-hours a day and will be in service for every election.  The Alameda County Registrar of Voters will retrieve the Vote-by-Mail ballots daily, ending at 8:00 pm on Election Night.  No postage is necessary for ballots returned in the drop box. Voters may also drop off their vote-by-mail ballot at any polling place in Alameda County between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm on Election Day.  Vote-by-Mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Registrar of Voters office no later than three days after Election Day.

For more information, contact the City Clerk at 981-6900 or elections@cityofberkeley.info. You can also access all election information by visiting http://www.cityofberkeley.info/elections.

Call the Registrar of Voters at 510-267-8683 for the following questions:

Helpful Links

Berkeley General Election Turnout History   

Year Registration Turnout
2016 83,778 78.10%
2014 79,928 50.42%
2012 82,194 73.68%
2010 78,631 63.10%
 2008 86,020 77.50%
 2006  69,780  66.2%
 2004  78,638  77.3%
 2002  70,184  58.9%
 2000  72,299  75.6%
 1998  73,848  60%
 1996  87,355  60%
 1994  81,119  61%
 1992  85,540  71%
 1990  73,466  65%
 1988  79,341  74%
 1986  77,804  64%
 1984  83,291  75%
 1982  78,199  68%
 1980  80,632  55%