The Palisades Alliance for Seniors will host “Introducing L.A. County’s New Voting Experience” at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February 10, at the Palisades Library community room. The program is free to the public.
There will be two speakers: a staff member from the L.A. County Register-Recorder’s office and Terri Lantz, a disability advocate who served on the advisory committee that provided input for the new system.
Their presentation will introduce the new voting model, dubbed “Voting Solutions for All People,” which is intended to make voting easier. The speakers will provide information and answer questions regarding: early voting, new Vote Centers, the new Ballot Marking Device, voting by mail and new drop boxes.
In Pacific Palisades, there is only one place to vote for the March 3 in the Presidential primary election: the Recreation Center at 851 Alma Real.
The California Voter’s Choice Act, designed to modernize our elections, was passed and signed in 2016, but didn’t take effect until 2018. According to the website (sos.ca.gov/elections/voters-choice-act/, this new model will prove greater flexibility and convenience for voters, according to California’s Secretary of State.
My first step prior to March 3 was confirming that I’m registered to vote, so I went to votersstatus.cos.ca.gov. It asked for my name, my birthdate and the last four digits of my Social Security number. Sorry, I don’t provide that information online because hacking is a danger.
Turns out registering isn’t a problem, because one can register to vote on election day, at a county elections office, neighborhood polling place or community vote center.
What if I want to vote by mail? One must request a ballot by February 25. (Voters in the first 14 Voter’s Choice Act counties receive it automatically.). My editor Bill Bruns noted that there are 58 counties in California and wondered about the number discrepancy.
The timeline for implementation started in 2018 and allowed 14 counties to use the new model. For the 2020 election, 10 more counties adopted the act and include: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Orange, Santa Clara and Tuolumne. That means a total of 24 counties out of 58 are using the new method.
Since Los Angeles County adopted the act, our neighborhood polling places have been replaced by community vote centers.
There are fewer places to vote, but the community centers will be open more days, allowing one to vote at a more “convenient” time.
I checked with L.A. County Vote Centers (locator.lavote.net/locations/vc) and found that I could vote at the Palisades Recreation Center from February 29 through March 2 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If that isn’t convenient, one can go to the Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., from February 22 through March 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the Santa Monica Place Shopping Center, which has the same hours as the Recreation Center.
Circling the News emailed L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s field director Zachary Gaidzik on February 4 and asked, “Why is there only one location to vote in Pacific Palisades? And why is it at a location… where parking is usually a problem?” He has not yet responded.