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Friday, September 17, 2021

Ballot box at Pierce

Pierce College’s campus may be closed, but for those in the community looking to exercise their right to vote, the college offers a way to do so. 

A new ballot box has been placed on the corner of Winnetka Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

CCC Vice Chancellor for Communications Paul Feist said in a Zoom interview that many colleges would also serve as voting centers with modifications through the “Safe Presidential Election Plan.” 

The locations open starting Friday, Oct. 30.

According to a flyer released by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s office, voters who plan to vote in person are encouraged to verify their voter registration in advance and pre-mark selections in their sample ballot in order to limit time spent in the voting center.

Other precautions that will be in effect include requiring voters to wear face coverings, enforcement of social distancing, and provision of hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the voting centers.

Mike Sanchez, the public information officer of the L.A. County RR office, wrote in an email that voters should vote as early as possible. Sanchez also wrote that voters will be able to be notified when their ballot is mailed via a tracking system online.

“Voters can receive automatic alerts when their ballot is mailed via text, email, or robocall with Where’s My Ballot,” Sanchez wrote. “If a voter returns their ballot by mail, Where’s My Ballot will also provide alerts when the ballot is in the mail received by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, and when it’s tallied.”

Sanchez also wrote that no postage is required for the mail-in ballots since the ballots can also be dropped off at either one of the ballot box locations or voting centers.

CCC Chancellor Eloy Oakley said in a Zoom interview that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has partnered with CCC’s Student Senate to organize a voter registration bowl in an effort to engage students to register to vote.

“Much of that is done through email outreach, text outreach, things like that connecting them to the Secretary of State’s office making sure that students have the information on how to make sure that they’re registered to vote and keep track of their mail-in ballots,” said Oakley. “We will continue to support the California Secretary of State in any efforts that they’re trying to make to get the word out and to get students registered and then get them to vote and hopefully vote early.”

The Ballot Bowl, which was first launched by the California Student Vote Project sometime before the 2018 general election, was launched on Aug. 17. The deadline of the ballot bowl is on Election Day, Nov. 3. The winners of the ballot bowl will be awarded on Nov. 16.

“The purpose of creating this friendly challenge is to incentivize campuses to adopt policies and practices that boost civic engagement, to inspire students to get involved in voter registration campaigns, and to acknowledge those who are leading the way on civic engagement at California’s colleges and universities,” wrote Padilla in a brief overview regarding the California Students Vote Project ballot bowl.

The last day to register to vote in California is Oct. 19. However, according to L.A. Manager of Civic Engagement Jeff Klein, voters who miss the deadline will still be able to vote in person using the Conditional Voter registration process which will be made available at any voting center. Klein also wrote in an email that approximately 75 voting centers will be open early on Oct. 24, six days before the official voting center opening day.

More information about the voting centers and the Ballot Bowl can be found on the Los Angeles voting website and the California Secretary of State’s website.

Hyperlinks: (Los Angeles voting website) https://lavote.net/home/voting-elections/voting-options/voting-in-person 

(Secretary of State Ballot Bowl info) https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-bowl

(Safe Presidential Election Plan) https://lavote.net/docs/rrcc/election-info/Safe-Vote-Center-Plan_November2020.pdf

(Where’s My Ballot link) https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/

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