Voting for the March 3 California Primary begins as soon as February 3, 2020 — the first day to vote-by-mail. This primary is also the first opportunity for voting under the California Voter’s Choice Act, a new law passed in 2016 that allows counties more flexibility to conduct elections, and making it easier for voters, especially disabled voters, to cast their ballot. And Los Angeles County has jumped into a leadership role as one of the first counties in the state to offer voters choices on how, when, and where to cast their ballot. These new efforts include:
- Mailing every voter a ballot
- Expanding in-person early voting
- Allowing voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county
By far, the easiest way to vote is by mail, so take note of the these important dates if you have are not already registered to vote by mail:
February 18, 2020 – Last day to register to vote
February 25, 2020 – Last day to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot by mail
March 3, 2020 – Election Day! Polls are open 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m
The California Secretary of State’s office has an all-in-one website where you can check your registration status, register, or change your party affiliation online, as well as learn more about the presidential primary.
You can make registration changes online through February 18. After that, you’ll have to do it in person — which you can do up to and even on Election Day itself.
You can check your voter registration status, including political party, at any time by visiting voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. You can also call the Voter Hotline at 1-800-345-VOTE (8683) for your status.
If you need to register to vote for the first time or update your voter registration information, including political party, visit RegisterToVote.ca.gov
Party Preference in the Presidential Primary
The county sent letters in December to more than 700,000 voters who are registered with “No Party Preference,” notifying them that they must request a ballot for the Presidential Primary on March 3, 2020. The American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties allow No Party Preference voters to participate in their Presidential Primary Elections as “crossover voters.” However, that’s not the case for the Green, Peace and Freedom or Republican parties, which do not permit crossover voting. To vote for their candidates, you must re-register in that party to vote by February 18. Voters can also change their party preference through Conditional Voter Registration at any Vote Center, starting February 22 and continuing through election day.
Voting in Person
If you want to vote in person, the county will soon be listing the new polling locations. These polling places will offer in-person voting over a period of 10 days, making it much easier to vote in person. (We tried to find our local polling place, but so far none are listed, so we’ll keep checking back.) Here’s the link if you want to check for your own new polling place: https://lavote.net/locator
While the Presidential Primary is getting lots of attention in the news, it’s also an important day for voters in Los Angeles City Council District 4. Councilmember David Ryu is running for re-election. Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman are opposing him. We attended a candidate forum featuring both of the opposing candidates last week, and will report on it soon. In the meantime, there is plenty of time to learn more about all the candidates before March 3.
In addition to the City Council race, neighbors will also have the opportunity to vote for a new County Supervisor representing the 2nd District. Current Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is termed out and is running for City Council in CD10…while the current CD10 representative, Herb Wesson, is now running for Ridley-Thomas’ seat on the Board of Supervisors. The other leading candidates for Supervisor include Economic Development Director Jan Perry and State Senator Holly J. Mitchell.
And speaking of CD10, former LADWP Commissioner Aura Vasquez, community leader/attorney Grace Yoo and several others are running to replace Wesson there. (There’s a big CD10 candidate forum coming up this weekend, if you’d like to learn more.)
Click here to read all the candidates who have qualified for the March 3 ballot in all districts.
There are lots of opportunities for civic engagement this month and next; we will do our best to keep you posted. In the meantime, register to vote before February 18 so your voice can be heard!