OK, so you missed the deadline to cast an easy mail-in ballot and face actually going to a polling station on Tuesday. You haven’t cast your ballot in a real voting booth for years. You fear it will take too long, be inconvenient, out of your way – where is it, anyway? – and you have a ton of things to do on Tuesday.
But these midterms are important; there are issues and candidates you care about that need your support and you want your vote to count.
Lucky you, you’re in California. Help is at hand.
Los Angeles County wants you to vote. In fact, they go out of their way to make it easy for you, quick for you, convenient for you. They want your vote so much, they will take your ballot even if you go to the wrong polling station, can’t find your mail in ballot or just moved to the county. Their motto is: “Voting Never Stops” with a side dish of: “Everyone Gets to Vote.”
Find your polling station online at www.lavote.net or 800.815.2666.
If you forgot to mail your mail in ballot, you can cast it there. Even if you forgot the envelope, they have extras.
Voters registered in Los Angeles County who are not in the precinct roster, or who are registered as Vote By Mail but don’t have their ballot with them or new voters who do not have identification (driver’s license, credit card, gym membership, military or school IDs or a utility bill) are welcome to vote using a pink provisional ballot.
This goes in a pink envelope and is put into the ballot box by hand. It will be checked by election officials at the county clerk’s office to make sure you haven’t voted more than once and you are a resident of Los Angeles County eligible to vote. Verified ballots are sent through the electronic vote recorder.
Voters of all abilities can cast ballots. Those who can’t get into the polling station for any reason can vote from their car. A Curbside Voting sign in front of the poll station lists a phone number. Park and call; a poll clerk will come to you with a ballot and cast it for you.
Inside voters use foam grips to hold pens steady to mark ballots, a magnifier to enlarge the print on the ballots and/or an audio ballot booth (ABB). This voting machine is available to all voters. It talks you through the ballot in one of 9 official languages. All voters can use the ABB, including those with visual challenges or who would be more comfortable hearing issues in their birth language.
One of the voting booths accommodates those using wheelchairs or walkers. Any voter who needs assistance can ask for help. Any person, including a child, who is not from the voter’s union or their employer, can go into the voting booth to help them.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the best line-free times are in the morning or early afternoon. Mark your choices on a sample ballot or paper before you go to speed up the process.
And wear your “I voted” sticker all day to remind others to exercise the only power all of us have in a democracy: freely casting our ballots for the candidates and issues of our choice.
It’s growing too late for pink VBM envelopes to get to the Registrar on time, you need to find your precinct polling station and drop it off in person.
Mark your Official Sample Ballot and take it with you to eliminate mistakes and speed up voting on Tuesday.
All you need to know to vote on Tuesday, but if you don’t have one, call or get info online, and poll workers will be there to help.
Editor’s Note – If you still have issues you are undecided on, or just have not had time to do your homework, Culver City Crossroads is ALWAYS happy to help you out – Click in on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for the full endorsement list, ( judges included,) and lots of reasons why you should do it the way we do it.