Zachary Gaidzik, West/Metro LA Field Deputy for County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, spoke about the new voting procedures that will begin in March 2020.
At the Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on October 9, Gaidzik said that citizens will be able to vote at any one of the 1,000 voting centers in the County (down from the current 5,000 centers).
Voting, instead of taking place on a single day, will stretch over an 11-day period between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Per tradition, the final vote tallies will not be available until the last day of voting after 8 p.m.
There will still be paper ballots, but the ink-a-dot ballot will be replaced with an 8×11 piece of paper and you will “just tap on who you want to vote for,” Gaidzik said. Sight-impaired voters will be able to increase the font size on the ballot, which will be available in 14 languages.
The e-poll book will be connected to the Internet and voters will be listed on an online registry. “No one has been able to hack it,” Gaidzik told the Council, adding that if the Internet has to shut down there is a backup of the registry. (An e-poll book is a laptop or tablet, that contains a list of eligible voters. It allows voters to sign in electronically and also has the ability to register voters. To read more about e-Poll Books, visit: ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/electronic-pollbooks.aspx)
A Palisades poll worker asked, “Will people still be able to vote provisionally?”
“One of the goals of this new system is to eliminate provisional ballots,” Gaidzik said, noting that with the registry, it can be determined if someone has already voted.
A conditional vote will be possible for someone who registers to vote on election day, and vote by mail ballots will still be available.
“This [new] system has been tested in Nevada in a full election,” Gaidzik said.
Another Palisades poll worker stated that in the past it had been hard to get workers and asked if this wouldn’t be more expensive for the County.
“We will have fewer centers,” Gaidzik said, explaining that the County will be hiring highly trained individuals who will be taught how to use the equipment. (Pop-up centers are also being proposed for Farmers Markets and supermarkets.)
Gaidzik said that the State has mandated that all counties update their voting procedure and that each County can set up its own voting system. “The state has to certify the voting system,” he said, and confirmed that every poll worker hired will undergo a security background check and a life scan.
Palisades centers may include the Palisades Library, the American Legion, the Bel-Air Bay Club and Palisades High School but voters can visit other voting centers anywhere in the County, including pop-up centers. The voting booklet sent to voters will still name the closest voting center.
(Editor’s note: Basically, the roster of L.A. County voters will be put on computers, replacing the handwritten book system. Voting will still be done with paper. Even though Gaidzik has said the registration system can’t be hacked, there appear to be no hack-proof computer systems.)