Faced with the low voter turnout of the 2013 municipal elections, the Municipal Elections Reform Commission instituted by Mayor Garcetti and City Council President Herb Wesson sought public input as to how to increase voter awareness and civic engagement in Los Angeles.
The Commission invited all Angelenos to share their ideas on how to increase interest and participation in city elections at a series of Community Input Meetings. The meetings took place throughout May and June, and the Commission has now released its initial report based on these findings. This report comes on the heels of a report submitted by the Alternative Voting Methods Task Force in October.
The Commission looked at ways the City can increase voter turnout and voter engagement prior to Election Day through improving election infrastructure in areas such as polling dates and location, early and by-mail voting, and outreach. Their recommendations include:
adopting a new election date system
increasing availability of voter registration forms and improving the efficiency of the Registrar of Voters in identifying inactive voters
creating a citywide network of early voting locations
transitioning to a greater use of public locations as polling places
increasing funding for various outreach and voter awareness programs
promoting vote-by-mail as an option for voters
The 66-page report lays out the Commission’s findings and proposes a series of recommendations for the City and the City Clerk in the areas of: election scheduling, voter registration, early voting and polling locations, outreach and education, and absentee and by-mail voting. The full report is available on the city’s website.