Voting in Los Angeles County has changed, including when, how, and where you cast your ballot. LA County’s new Vote Center program begins February 22 for California’s Presidential Primary Election on March 3.
Here’s what’s new:
- Within the City of Los Angeles, there are fewer Vote Centers than there were traditional polling places. Many former polling places are no longer being used, so it’s important to look up where you’ll vote now and in the future at: http://Locator.LAvote.net
- While the total number of places to vote is smaller, the number of possible places where you can vote is much greater, because now you can vote at *any* Vote Center in LA County. So if it’s easier to vote during lunch while you’re at work – do it! No need to commute home after work just to cast your ballot. All you need to do is look up what Vote Center is closest to the places where you actually spend your day.
- You’ll have a lot more time to cast your ballot than just Election Day. Instead of having only one day to vote, now you’ll have up to 11 days! Please note, though, that while many Vote Centers are open for 11 days, some are only open for 4 days. So when you look up which Vote Center is convenient to your home, workplace, or school, make sure to check the dates it’s open, too.
- The official Election Day, March 3rd, is actually the *LAST* day that any Vote Center is open, and not the first. Eleven-day centers open Saturday February 22nd. Four-day centers open Saturday February 29. So if you aren’t sure how long your local Vote Center is open, aim to visit it between Feb 29 – March 3. Note that all centers – even the four-day ones – are open over at least one weekend, so that you no longer have to try to get to the polls on a school night.
- Items on your ballot will appear in a different order than before. Local candidates and issues will appear on your ballot first; national candidates – such as Presidential candidates – are toward the end.
HOW DO THE NEW ELECTRONIC BALLOT MARKING DEVICES WORK, AND ARE THEY SECURE?
Although the new electronic ballot marking devices have a touchpad, they are still actually paper-based devices. They are not online devices, and they are not vulnerable to hacking, because they are not connected to the internet, WiFi, or bluetooth. Your results cannot be downloaded, because they are not saved by the machine. The only record of your choices appears on the paper ballot that your machine prints out. That same paper ballot is what will be used to tally your vote when the ballots are counted.
SAVE TIME – GET A POLL PASS
This year, you’ll be able to research and select your ballot choices in the comfort of your own home, then upload your choices at the polls using a Poll Pass on your smartphone or other mobile device. A Poll Pass is a scannable QR code that works like an airline boarding pass, which you can scan at the voting booth to upload your pre-filled ballot choices. You may either bring your Poll Pass to the polls on your smartphone, or print it.
To create your Poll Pass, simply fill out an Interactive Sample Ballot at http://isb.LAvote.net, and either print it or download it to your mobile device. In the voting booth, you will still be able to make changes to any selections you upload via your Poll Pass, before finalizing and turning in your ballot.
VOTE BY MAIL
You may also choose to skip going to a Vote Center by registering to Vote By Mail. You can Vote By Mail as a one-time option, or you can choose to do so permanently.
One-Time Vote By Mail Registration: If you’re a registered voter in LA County, apply online to Vote By Mail in the March 3, 2020 election here: https://lavote.net/Apps/VoteByMail/Index?id=4085
Permanent Vote By Mail Registration: If you’re already registered to vote in LA County, you can register online to be a permanent Vote By Mail voter. All you need to do is fill out a new voter registration form, and check the Permanent Vote By Mail box on the form. Access the form on this page by clicking the Register Now button:
This process also works for voters registering for the first time, who wish to have Permanent Vote By Mail status.
Currently registered voters may also switch to Permanent Vote By Mail status by completing the form on the back cover of their Official Sample Ballot booklet, or by downloading this Permanent Vote By Mail application, and returning it to the office of the LA County Registrar: https://www.lavote.net/documents/permanent-vote-by-mail-application.pdf
LEARN MORE: PRINTABLE FAQ
The LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk has prepared a print-friendly FAQ to help answer your questions or your stakeholders’ questions about LA’s new voting experience. Read and download the PDF here: