By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Community Council invited Jeff Klein, civic engagement manager for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office, to speak at a virtual board meeting on Thursday, October 8.
Klein led an in-depth presentation about the voting process for the election, sharing the county learned a lot during the primary election and the changes that have been made.
LA County is the largest voting jurisdiction in the country. From its total population of 10.2 million, more than 5.5 million people are registered voters and approximately 6.1 million are eligible to vote.
“Implementing an election really takes a community effort … partnerships like this and doing these types of presentations are really useful, we really want to encourage you to spread the information that I provide today,” Klein said.
All registered voters will be issued a vote by mail ballot, which were mailed on October 5. Completed ballots may be placed in drop boxes—one is located in front of Palisades Branch Library—in the U.S. Mail or dropped off at a voting center.
Vote centers will be open for those who prefer to vote in-person; all vote centers will strictly follow state and county guidelines, and enforce social distancing.
To enter a vote center, voters must wear a mask. Klein said masks, gloves and hand sanitizer will be available. Voting machines will be spaced six feet apart and sanitized after each voter.
Klein said there will be over 750 vote centers throughout the county, and there will be an 11-day period of voting. Voters are free to visit any of the locations in the county and are no longer assigned to one specific location.
The most convenient voting center for Palisadians will be Palisades Recreation Center. The next closest will be Santa Monica’s Roosevelt and Franklin elementary schools, both located on Montana Avenue.
In addition to schools and community centers, there are also high-profile locations being utilized this year, including Uber headquarters, Dodger Stadium, STAPLES center and more.
Introduced in the primary election, the ballot marking devices will be returning to vote centers. Voters will be issued a paper ballot that will be cast on the device, with no internet or network connection, just accessibility features, to offer an “independent and private voting experience.”
Klein explained that voting by mail is the method the county is promoting: “It is the safest method in terms of the pandemic, it is essentially contactless and keeps people out of congregating in the public.”
Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, November 3, and there is a 17-day window for ballots to be received.
Klein addressed voting by mail safety and election security.
“What makes it a very secure process is that we check the signature of every single vote by mail ballot that’s returned,” he said.
One Palisadian asked about signature comparison: Since signatures change over time, what signature will it be compared to?
Klein said the signature will be compared to the most recent registration in the voter database or the most recent signature pulled from the DMV.
If a signature doesn’t match, a letter will be sent notifying the individual, giving them the chance to respond and a second chance to pass their ballot. People can also re-register and update their signature that way.
Voters can track their ballot through the “Where’s My Ballot?” website, which will offer real-time notifications: when it’s sent and when it’s received, as it makes its way through the process.
The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 19. Vote centers will open beginning Saturday, October 24.
For more information, visit LAvote.net or email Klein directly at jklein@email@example.com.
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