Election Day is Nov. 8 but half a million LA County residents have already voted.
Among more than 5.6 million registered voters, many are continuing with the pandemic habit of mailing in their ballot.
“Mailing in ballots is the primary method of voting that people use,” says Dean Logan, the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for Los Angeles County. “We're already starting to see a pretty strong surge of ballots come back -- over half a million ballots back already."
After more than a hundred in-person vote centers across the county opened their doors last weekend, the Registrar office is seeing a “steady flow of voters” each day.
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Because mail-in ballots that are postmarked Nov. 8 will be counted, some of the tight races in LA County may not have a clear winner on Election Day. Also with hundreds of thousands of ballots being dropped off at drop boxes on Election Day, Logan says the LA County Registrar Clerk may not be able to call the winner of the Los Angeles mayoral race by Nov. 9.
“We'll definitely have a good set of results late election night, but if those races are close, it's going to be several weeks after the election before we have the final results.”
As election integrity is one of the key issues across the country, officials at the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk are working to make sure all ballots are handled securely. But Logan says the best way to secure an election is through “participation.”
“All vote-by-mail ballots go through a signature verification process before those are counted. And we have a number of checks and balances in the in-person voting process -- and most importantly, transparency.”
Logan says every polling place will members of the political parties who will observe and monitor the counting of ballots.
With so much at stake, my LA County voters may be fired up about their candidates and causes, but the LA County Registrar Clerk reminds residents that it is illegal in California to wear certain clothing or signs, including T-shirts, campaign buttons or stickers, that express support for a candidate or ballot initiative within a hundred feet outside of the vote center.
“If somebody does show up, we gently remind them and ask them to please cover that up while they're in the voting process.”
For more information or assistance, an online tool launched by the county is now available.