Supervisors discuss the future of voting in Los Angeles County

Voters line up outside at a Hasley Canyon Village polling place in Castaic in 2012. Signal File Photo
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Over the past decade, Los Angeles County has been re-inventing the voting experience to suit everyone in the county by introducing new voting machines, expanding the voting period and implementing vote centers throughout the county, according to county officials. 

“I put this (agenda item) up because there has been a lot of questions in the community and a lack of understanding,” said county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Dean Logan, registrar-record and county clerk, led a presentation on the new voting system and was available to answer any remaining questions from the board at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning. 

This system will be used to its full capacity, for the first time, on March 3, during the presidential primary election, according to Logan. 

“We can be proud that the Los Angeles County adopted a methodology that meets voters where they are at, and we are focused on providing an experience where the voter is first,” said Logan.

Vote centers will replace previous polling places, and will be located throughout the county, Logan said Tuesday. Voters will not have to report to a specific polling place because they now can vote wherever is most convenient to them. Voters can find nearby vote centers by visiting lavote.net. 

Additionally, the voting period has been extended to 11 days, so voters will have more opportunities to vote. 

“More choices means more voices,” said Logan. “The more options we give voters, the higher the opportunity for people to participate in the election.” 

According to a video created by the county, voters can select their language, change the font size and adjust the contract for easy viewing on the voting machines. 

After voters are done filling out their ballot, voters can feed the paper ballot into the ballot marking device, never having to interact with a vote center assistant. The device voters fill their ballot on is where they also cast their vote. 

Post-election, the county will be revisiting the process and seeing how they can improve the system for future elections, Barger says.

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