After a Technical Issue, In-Person Voting at Palisades Recreation Center Reported to be ‘Easy’ and ‘Efficient’
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Rounding out a historic election, more than 700 locations across Los Angeles County opened their doors for early in-person voting starting Friday, October 30—days before Election Day on November 3.
Pacific Palisades residents took to the Palisades Recreation Center, located at 851 Alma Real Drive, the only voting center in town. The center was open for voting Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Election Day on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This year’s Presidential Election, with President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the ballot, is on track to break the voter turnout record set in 2016.
According to the LA County’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office, 2,912,325 people had voted by Sunday, November 1. Of those, 2,520,926 were mail-in ballots and 391,399 were in-person voters.
At Palisades Recreation Center, voters were able to cast their votes using ballot-marking devices, register to vote, or cast a provisional ballot or drop off their completed mail ballot.
In-person voting was delayed Friday due to a technical issue, according to Palisades Recreation Center Director Erich Haas. Individuals were still able to drop off their ballots or vote by provisional ballot, and things went smoother one day later.
Highlands resident Joseph Costa said voting at the center was efficient, and despite the challenges the pandemic has presented, this was the “easiest” voting experience he has had to date.
Highlands resident Sara Shamonki shared a similar experience, and was pleased to find how organized and seamless the voting process was compared to four years ago.
“The new technology seems to be helpful and helps the process move along at a better pace,” Shamonki said to the Palisadian-Post. “Voting is an integral part of being an American citizen and is as important to me as any other right we have.”
Voting looked a bit different this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Voters were asked to arrive wearing a face covering, and voting machines were spaced six feet apart and sanitized after each voter.
Palisadians were impressed: Julie McBrearty only stopped by the center to drop off her mail-in ballot, as she “felt it would be a bit safer,” but took notice of how sanitary the location was and would have considered voting in-person had she known.
“The rec center was extremely clean, and there were far more voting booths than I would have expected,” she said. “At the time I ran in on Saturday afternoon, there were two people voting. If I were to have been voting in-person, I would have felt very comfortable doing it there.”
On Election Day, according to data reported by the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Office, the estimated wait for in-person voting remained at 15 minutes or less.
Palisadians also had the option of utilizing the sole ballot drop-off box placed in town, which was located outside of Palisades Branch Library.
In addition to the presidential race, 12 statewide propositions were on the ballot, including Proposition 22, which covers special workplace rules for the gig economy, and Proposition 15, related to commercial property taxes, and others.
The propositions require a simple majority of voters in order to pass, and, unless specified otherwise, will take effect once election results are certified in December.
Due to the surge of voters casting their ballots by mail in response to the pandemic and COVID-19 concerns, it may take longer for election officials to tally votes. This year, new rules allow the counting of mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday, November 3, and received by November 20.
Officials have 30 days after the election to tally all ballots and certify the results.
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