Vote! Let Your Voice Be Heard on Nov. 3

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin      October 2, 2020

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Vote! Let Your Voice Be Heard on Nov. 3
An official ballot kiosk located at the Woodland Hills Recreation Center.  Photo by Annemarie Donkin.
Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to all registered voters in California the week of Oct. 5 and all Voting Centers will be open from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. You may drop off your signed ballot at any official Voting Center or any one of 123 official drop boxes located at parks and libraries throughout Los Angeles County. Register to Vote by Oct. 19. For Los Angeles County residents, visit LAVOTE.net to register to vote or confirm your registration status at (lavote.net). Voter’s Edge. While online, visit votersedge.org/ca, a one-stop shop for election-related information brought to you by the League of Women Voters of California. Vote Safe with your Vote-by-Mail Ballot: The deadline for requesting a vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 19. By mail, no postage is necessary. By Mail. All ballots returned by mail and postmarked before or on Nov 3. will be counted. By Drop Box. Ballots returned at a secure ballot drop box must be deposited by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Vote Early. If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day and received within 17 days by the County Clerk, they will process, verify, and count that ballot. For those planning to submit a vote-by-mail ballot via USPS, voting early can help ensure your ballot is counted. Track Your Ballot. Sign up to track your ballot at California Ballot Trax (california.ballottrax.net/voter). Questions? Go to lavote.net Forgot to Sign the Envelope for your Vote-by-Mail Ballot? If you returned your ballot without signing the return envelope, the County Clerk will mail you a document called the “Unsigned Ballot Statement” asking for your signature. Your signature is required to verify your identity and process the ballot. You have up to 28 days after Election Day to return the statement for your ballot to be processed. Good News: Nov. 3, Election Day, is the deadline for registering to vote in person. If you register to vote on Election Day at a Voting Center, however, you will have to cast a provisional ballot, which means your signature must be verified before your vote is counted. For more information online: lavote.net/contact-us/contact-us. Vote Center Days and Hours: Voters will have ten consecutive days and Election Day to vote in-person at any participating Vote Center in the County. Select Vote Centers will be available beginning Saturday, Oct. 24, and all Vote Centers will be available beginning Friday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the early voting period. On Nov. 3, all Vote Centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. IN-PERSON VOTING If you choose to vote in person, please bring your mail-in ballot envelope with you because it contains a unique bar code for each voter that is scanned into the L.A. County database. Safe In-Person Voting: All participating Vote Centers follow State and County public health and safety guidelines. Voters are asked to wear facial coverings and gloves (coverings and gloves will be made available if needed), and practice social distancing of six feet. Election workers wearing protective gloves and masks will wipe and sanitize all surfaces and Ballot Marking Devices after each voter. HOW TO VOTE IN PERSON The Voting Solutions for All People project was developed by the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to make voting easier and more accessible than ever before. The new Ballot Marking Devices feature a touch screen that allows any voter to easily navigate the ballot by advancing through different screens showing lists of candidates and ballot measures. For races with many candidates, please hit the MORE button to read the full list. Language Preference. Voters who prefer to read the ballot in a different language (Spanish, Chinese, Korean or any one of the 12 languages supported by the county) can choose their preference on the same machine. Guidance for Disabled. For those with vision impairment or reading disabilities, an audio controller assists voters through their options with a simple push of a few buttons. Paper Ballot. Once you’ve tapped in your selections on the device, you will receive a printed paper ballot that goes into an integrated ballot box (the use of a traceable paper ballot is still mandated by law). Cell Phone Transference. Voters can also mark their votes on their cell phones when it’s convenient, then go to a polling station to transfer their selections from their phones to paper ballots and cast their ballots in a ballot box. According to a spokesman at the Registrar-Recorder’s office, election workers will now go through an expanded training module. All volunteers will receive additional training; field technicians will be on hand if technical issues arise. Questions? Go to lavote.net WHAT COULD GO WRONG Forgetting to sign the envelope or vote for more than one person in each section will invalidate your ballot. Study your sample ballot well in advance of lining up at the voting center. There is too much at stake with so many propositions, ballot measures, and candidates up for reelection, not to have made your selections beforehand. WHAT WILL WORK Los Angeles County is the largest in the nation with a population of more than 10 million and 5,631,164 total registered voters as of 2020. Voters have ten days of early voting available with 123 drop boxes spread around the County to take your mail-in ballot. Identify your nearest drop box ahead of time if that is your choice. Add to that the most inclusive, automated voting machines, online registration and same day registration and we have a chance to lead the nation in voting efficiency. A message from the Registrar-Recorder County Clerk: “For questions or assistance in voting early, please call (800) 815-2666; or email voterinfo@rrcc.lacounty.gov.”
Annemarie Donkin
      October 2, 2020

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