LA County early-voting places open Saturday: Here’s what to know

By David Rosenfeld,
The Daily Breeze,
October 22, 2020


Early voting in-person begins in Los Angeles County Saturday morning, Oct. 24, at more than 100 polling places with an additional 650 to open Oct. 30 and running up until Election Day.

Voters can cast ballots at any one of the 766 Vote Centers throughout the county, regardless of where they are registered. Voters can also register or re-register a change of address at any Vote Center up until Election Day. And they can also drop off ballots.

Every active voter in Los Angeles County — roughly 5.6 million — has by now received a mail-in ballot. Voters can drop those ballots in the mail postmarked by Election Day or into any of the more than 400 official drop boxes throughout the county no matter where they are registered to vote.

But for those voters who feel more comfortable voting in-person, the option to cast a ballot in a traditional polling place is still available. Just plan for possible lines on Election Day, which is why officials are urging any voter who wants to vote in-person to do so as soon as possible.

Beginning 10 a.m. Saturday 118 Vote Centers will open throughout Los Angeles County with hours running until 7 p.m. These will provide the first opportunities for voters to cast ballots in-person for contests including the U.S. Presidential race up until Election Day on Nov. 3.

Another 648 Vote Centers will open Friday, Oct. 30.

- - - - - - - - - - 

In addition to a new computer-based voting system, major changes were made in March in the way the county conducts polling locations, including displacing neighborhood precincts with hubs that housed rows of new ballot machines.

An outside audit in June found the March election melted down into long lines and frustrated voters due to a breakdown in new technology systems, a lack of trained election workers and insufficient oversight of outdoor vendors.

Kim Alexander, president of California Voter Foundation, said the biggest problems voters faced in March L.A. County elections were excessive wait times.

“These were often caused by problems with the PollPad e-pollbook that the county used to check in voters at Vote Centers,” Alexander said. “I am hoping that the glitches they had with these devices have been addressed and the check-in process will go more quickly and smoothly.”

Alexander said she would also be looking to see if the technical support provided to Vote Center staff was more reliable and prompt.

“Election staff experienced excessive wait times when they encountered problems and needed tech support,” she said.

Paper jams when ballots were fed into vote-counting machines as instructed also proved to be a problem in March and again during a recent certification process, Alexander said.

The bottom line, say election officials, is to vote early. (Full Story)