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Want To Help Out Staffing A Polling Place In Southern California? Here’s What You Need To Know

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L.A. County election officials are deploying "Mobile Vote Centers" like this one to 25 scheduled stops. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Yes, every active voter in California will get a mail-in ballot this year. Still, there will be in-person options to cast your vote on (or before) Nov. 3.

But there’s a problem: Folks over the age of 61 usually make up a majority of workers at polling places, and the pandemic is keeping many retirees home who would typically volunteer.

L.A. County Supervisors acknowledge recruitment will be tougher this year. So last month they voted to invoke the “Disaster Service Worker” program to meet the need.

Every public employee in the state can be called on to work in different roles during an emergency. In this case, county workers will be assigned to assist voters and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols.

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On Aug. 4, Supervisors adopted a motion that suspended the usual County Employee Election Worker Program, which was voluntary. Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion said:

“One of the lessons that we learned from the March election was the need for pretty deep and appropriate training for vote center staff, and ensuring there were enough staffers."


Los Angeles County hasn’t officially started recruiting vote center staff yet, but you can fill out an application online and the county will be in touch. Volunteers get a stipend of $100 a day and $80 for training days, which are mandatory.

Other counties are actively hiring part-time workers to fill the roles. Orange County pays vote center “Customer Service Representatives” around $18-21 an hour. (The application is here.)

O.C. Registrar Neal Kelley says so far, his team has hired about half the workers needed.

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“I am optimistic that we will hit our goals and be fully staffed well ahead of our opening,” Kelley said.

No matter where you live in California, the Secretary of State recently launched an online application to connect you with a poll worker job or volunteer position in your area.


KEY THINGS TO KNOW

  • All registered voters in California will receive a mail-in ballot for the November election under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in June.
  • All ballot envelopes in California are pre-paid postage.
  • Ballots postmarked on or before election day will have their votes counted under state law — as long as they arrive within 17 days.

In L.A. County all voters are are free to choose how they vote, either by mail, or by dropping their filled-in ballot at any voting center, or by voting in person at any voting center.

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Read more about voting in L.A. County: How Voting Will Work For The 2020 Election


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