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Drive-Thru Democracy? California May Expand Curbside Voting For November

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The "I Voted" sticker for L.A. County voters in 2020. (Rebecca Nieto / LAist)
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For some, voting next November may feel a little like pulling up to a drive-in diner.

Stay with me here. As we all work together to flatten the coronavirus curve, election officials are trying to strike a delicate balance between public health and making voting as easy as possible.

So with curbside grocery pickup and even medical appointments now standard in the time of social distancing, why not voting?

On a conference call led by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar last week, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said expanding curbside ballot drop-off and drive-in voting are on the table in California. These are some options local election officials and stakeholders are considering as they prepare for a pandemic-friendly November election, Padilla said.

“Our end goal is to create a plan to deliver accessible, secure, inclusive and safe elections,” Padilla said.

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Curbside voting was available in L.A. County during the March 3 primary, but just under 400 people voted that way. The process is labor-intensive for poll workers, and currently includes a step where voters have to self-identify as needing disability accommodations.

Padilla noted that the state also continues to look at expanding voting by mail.