About one-third of all California eligible voters have voted by mail, and more than 100 in-person voting centers in LA opened over the weekend. These centers had long lines as people feared mail-in ballots wouldn’t get counted in time or wouldn’t be accepted for various reasons. LA County will open 650 more voting centers this Friday.
“I feel like it's a little bit safer. From what I've been hearing in the news and stuff, people are lighting ballot boxes on fire, and trashing the ballots and whatnot. … So I feel like being in person would actually solidify my vote,” says Michelle Ducoing, who voted at downtown LA’s Grand Central Market.
LA County Registrar Recorder Dean Logan says 2020 voter participation is already shattering previous records. The first day of early voting in the March primary election saw about one-sixth the number of voters that came out last Saturday.
“We’re at about 50,000 voters that have voted in person. And you add that onto the 1.7 million LA County voters who have already returned a vote-by-mail ballot, and there’s a strong indication that people are heeding that call and showing up to vote early in this election.”
Logan says casting ballots by mail, at a voting center, or at one of the county’s 400 ballot drop boxes are all secure ways to vote. He notes that drop boxes are the most popular method so far, with more than half of all ballots coming from them.
During the March primary, some LA County voters waited up to three hours in line. Logan says the county is hoping to avoid that this time around. He says all the people voting early — and voting remotely to avoid COVID-19 — should help with crowds during the final stretch of the election.