Before diving into the details of all the measures on the November 3 ballot, Mona Field of the League of Women Voters offered tips on how to vote safely and securely to an audience of nearly 200 on a Zoom webinar hosted by the Ebell of Los Angeles on Thursday night.
If you are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, the safest way to cast youe ballot is by mail, said Field, a veteran speaker from the League of Conservation Voters. She also recommended that voters cast their ballots by October 20 to allow plenty of time to arrive at the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office. That way, explained Field, if there is a question about your signature or registration, there’s time for the County election workers to contact you.
If you’re wondering how to make sure you signatures match, Field offered this advice. If you registered years ago, sign the complete name that’s on the mailing label for your ballot — if your ballot says Jane Marie Smith, sign it that way, even if you don’t always use your middle name, explained Field. If you have recently registered, your signature should match the one that’s on your driver’s license.
Once you’ve signed and sealed your ballot, Field recommended mailing your ballot using the US Postal Service; no postage is required. Or, if you prefer, you can also drop it off at a Vote Center, though you may have to go in to drop the ballot. Another contactless option is to place your ballot in a Drop Box, where Field said ballots are being collected every three days. Most of our local libraries have Drop Boxes and we’ve included a list at the end of this story. You can also find a list of the closest locations to you in your ballot instructions. And you can also visit LAVote.Net for locations and hours of service for all vote centers and drop boxes throughout the county. Once you’ve mailed or dropped off your ballot, you can track your ballot every step of the way by signing up for ballot tracking at california.ballottrax.net.
Also, did you know that Vote By Mail ballots are actually counted first? According to Field, ballots are verified as they are received and once the polls close, those ballots are actually counted first. So if you want to make sure your ballot is counted, mail it in early.
This is first year local elections have been combined with a presidential election, so the ballot is organized with the local elections first, then the state. Field pointed out that ballots start with the local City Council race, followed by County races and ballot measures, then state races and ballot measures, and finally the Presidential race, which is listed last on the ballot.
Field also provided an in-depth look at all the ballot measures on the November ballot. While the League of Women Voters is a non-partisan group, it has made recommendations on some of the measures, which can be found on the organization’s Youtube channel and we’ve posted a link below. After nearly 90 minutes of presentation and questions and answers, Field noted that voting can be daunting. She told the audience they need only vote for candidates or issues they care about and it its ok to skip a race on the ballot. The Ebell of Los Angeles told the Buzz, that it will make the recording of Field’s presentation available to the public on its website. We will update this story with the direct link, once it’s available.
Below is a list of the Vote By Mail Drop Boxes at our local Libraries:
- Fairfax Branch Library: 161 S Gardner St
- John C. Fremont Branch Library: 6121 Melrose Ave
- Memorial Branch Library: 4625 W Olympic Blvd
- Wilshire Branch Library: 149 N St. Andrews Place
This story has been updated to include a recording Mona Field’s presentation.
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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