An L.A. County Vote By Mail Drop Box has been bolted to the sidewalk in front of the Pacific Palisades Library on Alma Real.
Circling the News wrote to Michael Sanchez of the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder‘s office with questions about these boxes for mail-in ballots. There will be 123 citywide, including 11 in Mike Bonin’s Council District 11.
On September 14, Sanchez wrote: “Vote by Mail Drop Boxes will be available beginning October 5–the same day we begin mailing ballots.”
“They are scheduled to get picked up every 72 hours, then 48, then 24 as we get closer to Election Day,” Sanchez said. “The majority of drop boxes will be available 24/7, however, some boxes will have varying hours and those hours will be published on our website.”
CTN told Sanchez that the U.S. postal box on a public street (next to the Village Green) was pried open on September 6 and mail was stolen. We asked, “Will the voting boxes be secure?”
He responded, “They are very secure as they are bolted into the cement and locked.”
CTN also asked about another problem here in the Palisades: specifically, when glue has been placed in the opening slot of several outside mail boxes, which allows a thief to possibly retrieve mail if it doesn’t go all the way down into the box.
In a follow-up email today, Sanchez wrote as background: “It’s important context for you to know that vote by mail drop boxes are not brand new in the upcoming election. We have provided vote by mail drop boxes since 2017, and in the March 2020 Primary we had over 200 drop boxes – like what you will see in this election.
“We have not had any issues with tampering or damaging these boxes,” he said. “We are not an investigative or law enforcement agency, but we are in direct communication with the Sheriff and law enforcement, city officials and community-based organizations to assist in monitoring and alerting our office if an unforeseen circumstance occurs at a drop box. If such an event were to take place, we’d immediately act accordingly.”
He added, “We are still finalizing the selection of vote centers throughout the County, but as you may have seen as many as 150 LAUSD schools will be Vote Centers this fall. A list of locations will be made available in early October on our website: lavote.net.”
Finally, at the L.A. Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners meeting today, September 17, the board approved installation of Vote By Mail Drop Boxes at recreation centers. CTN has asked who will be responsible for the security of those boxes: Recreation and Parks personnel or L.A. County personnel. Harold Arrivillaga, Rec and Parks board secretary, said, “Please note that security of the ballots when deposited, is up to the Registrar exclusively.”
Thinking I’ll WALK my ballot in to a polling place to be SAFE, I don’t trust anyone any more 🙁
Every branch of the Los Angeles Public Library including Central Library will have an exterior vote by mail drop box.
I, for one, will continue to deposit all of my outgoing mail inside the post office itself. The Village Green mail box also was “bolted into the cement and locked.” If I remember the picture correctly, the thieves simply pried the entire side Off the box and emptied it. I think these curbside voting boxes are an invitation vote stealing.
How to Return your Ballot
There are multiple options on how to return your ballot:
By mail, remember no postage is necessary
In person at any Vote by Mail drop box location
At any Vote Center in L.A. County
If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day and received within 17 days by our Department we will process, verify and count that ballot.
I agree with everything in Jon’s comment. I will make sure my ballot goes inside the Post Office . The way the Village Green mailbox was opened by thieves left little doubt in my mind about the future of all mailboxes on the street.