Elections, Political Signs & Voter Info

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
Running for Office
Campaign Statements (FPPC)
Political Signs


District Elections come to San Marcos

San Marcos consolidates its General Municipal Elections with the Statewide General Elections held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even-numbered years.


The November 6, 2018 Election will be held to elect the mayor and one city council member for District 1 and one council member for District 2.

Notices of Election          

Candidate List

Election Results 

(maintained by San Diego County Registrar of Voters)

By-district elections beings in San Marcos with 2018 Election

For the first time, residents in the City of San Marcos will vote for council members by district instead of an at-large election.

During this election, only residents from District 1 and District 2, as determined by their voting address, will be selecting a council member. Districts 3 and 4 will then vote for council members during the 2020 election. (City of San Marcos District Map)

  • Find your districtDistrict 1 includes Richmar area and proceeds west to Poinsettia Avenue, east to Woodland Parkway, north to Borden Road and south to the 78 Freeway.
  • District 2 includes San Elijo Hills along with Old Creek Ranch, Discovery Hills, Rancho Dorado and adjoining neighborhoods.
  • District 3 includes area around Cal State San Marcos, the Creek District and Civic Center area, and extends east to the Nordahl Marketplace, west to Rancho Santa Fe Road and north to the 78 Freeway.
  • District 4 includes Santa Fe Hills, Palomar College, and neighborhoods north of Borden Road and Santa Fe Road to the west.

The City of San Marcos is a Charter City governed by a five-member City Council consisting of a Mayor and four (4) Council Members from four (4) districts. The term of office for each member is four years with staggered terms. There is a limit of three consecutive terms for each position.

To learn more about district elections, visit

Your Vote Counts!

The deadline to *register to vote in any election is 15 days prior to the election. Registration forms are available in the City Clerk Department, 1 Civic Center Drive, as well as online with the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters or the California Secretary of State. *Any changes to address, party affiliation and name require a re-registration.

Polling place

To find your polling place, please click here: Polling Place Locator

The City Clerk serves as the election official and is responsible for the issuance of nomination papers, placing city measures on the ballot and conducting municipal elections in accordance with the City of San Marcos Municipal Code, the Elections Code, and the Political Reform Act of 1974.

Running for Office

In order to qualify as a candidate for Mayor or a member of the City Council, an individual must be a registered voter and a resident of the City of San Marcos and the district they want to represent.  The position of mayor is voted at-large.

For more information on running for office in San Marcos, please contact the City Clerk's Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3105.

Political Signs

Temporary political signs displaying noncommercial messages are regulated by San Marcos Municipal Code 20.320.060.


Helpful tips for political sign placement:

  • No permit is required.
  • Pre-Election period: The pre-election period begins 35 calendar days before an election and ends 10 calendar days after such election.
  • Sign placement: Total display area of all signs is limited to 16 square feet on any property for signs placed prior to the pre-election period. During the pre-election period, an unlimited number of signs are allowed per property (with the property owner’s permission).
  • Sign size: the maximum size of any sign during the pre-election period is 32 square feet.
  • Sign Removal: temporary political signs must be removed no later than ten (10) calendar days following the date of the election.
  • Get permission: political signs of a temporary nature are to be placed on private property only. Without a property owner’s consent, an owner or owner’s representative may remove the signs without advance notice.
  • Keep views clear: political signs may not be installed in a manner which obstructs vehicle sight distance or impedes pedestrian/vehicular movement. Do not attach to traffic signals, street lights, utility poles or stop signs.
  • Avoid public property: At no time are political signs to be placed on public property owned by any public agency (i.e. City of San Marcos, San Marcos Unified School District, Vallecitos Water District, etc.). This includes within the road right-of-way areas, on any guardrail or on any fencing around a drainage structure.
  • Keep it simple: Illuminated, flashing or rotating signs may not be installed, nor is the use of any loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device permitted, which cases sound upon the streets for the purpose of political advertising.

Authorized Removal

Signs placed on a public or private property that endanger the safety of persons or property or that interfere with either pedestrian or vehicular sight distance will be immediately removed by City staff and the candidate will be billed for the cost of removal.

Signs on public property that do not pose an immediate hazard may be removed by City employees if, after notice, the responsible party has not removed them. Public right-of-way, in most cases, extends 10 feet from the curb face or a public street. Center islands are part of the public right-of-way. A private property owner may remove signs at any time without advance notice.

Political signs are prohibited from being placed on public property,
which includes the following:

  • Landscaped medians in the center of the roadways;
  • Street right-of-way areas (typically determined to be 10 feet back from the face of the curb or edge of the pavement). There are some streets with landscaped areas within the City’s community facilities district that are greater than 10 feet. Please see the list below. If you are unsure, please contact the City of San Marcos for a determination. Damage to underground irrigation in a landscaped area will be billed to the campaign headquarters.
  • Guardrails on bridges, at dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs or any fencing around a drainage pipe or culvert/structure.
  • Traffic signals, stop signs, speed limit signs, street lights, utility poles or other traffic-related signs that are typically located in the street right-of-way.
  • San Marcos Post Office on Twin Oaks Valley Road.
  • California State University, San Marcos campus and Palomar Community College campus.
  • San Marcos Unified School District properties, including administrative offices on Pico between Mission and San Marcos Blvd., all elementary, middle and high school campuses.
  • Vallecitos Water District properties, including administrative offices on Vallecitos de Oro.
  • City of San Marcos properties.


From rights-of-way and other public property:
Signs may be removed on sight. No advance warning or notice is required if a hazard exists. Reasonable effort will be made to contact campaign headquarters or another responsible party, if known, to advise of City's action or provide 72-hour notice to remove the sign. Signs returned only on demand and destroyed 30 days following removal if unclaimed. Costs incurred for sign removal by City after 72-hour notice shall be billed to the candidate.

From private property:
A Notice of Violation is issued to the responsible party. Reasonable compliance time frame is given, along with an explanation of specific code provisions violated. If cooperation is not secured, a citation may be issued.

 City Clerk's Department
 City Clerk
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050
Phil Scollick
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3105