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Here's How Things Are Going At LA County Voting Centers So Far

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Happy Election Day. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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It’s the big day for L.A.’s new voting system. Voters are going to regional voting centers instead of neighborhood polling places, using ballot-marking machines instead of the InkAVote system, and casting ballots in March instead of June. So here are a few glimpses of how things are going as of 9:15 a.m.:

Early birds were able to vote before polls opened. The L.A. County Registrar opened six voting centers for round-the-clock voting Monday, so some voters were able to cast their ballots before sunrise. Long Beach resident Jane Vargas was able to vote before 7 a.m. at the registrar headquarters in Norwalk, which is between her home and her work in Santa Fe Springs. “I’m really happy to be able to vote before work, before the crowds, and get it done,” she said.

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Signs outside Micheltorena Elementary School in Silver Lake let voters know that the school is no longer a polling place. (Chava Sanchez/LAist )

Some missed the memo about the voting centers. Signs were posted outside the Micheltorena Street Elementary School letting voters know it was not going to be a polling place this year. But some people still showed up. Silver Lake resident Paul Thompson had been planning on dropping off his vote-by-mail ballot before work when he encountered the sign.

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“I feel a little embarrassed because I feel like I should have checked,” he said. “But I’ve lived here for almost five years. And I walked down the hill like I always do, for every general, every midterm, every city election, and it’s moved.” Thompson said he was lucky enough to have a job with enough flexibility to cast his vote later, but knows others don’t have that same opportunity.

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Silver Lake resident Paul Thompson has been coming to the Micheltorena Street Elementary School to vote for the previous five years and had no idea the voting place had changed. (Chava Sanchez/LAist )

A long wait in DTLA. At the Ace Hotel, the wait time was over an hour, according to Twitter user @OmarHNoureldin. L.A. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan responded, saying he was dispatching additional equipment to the site.

Omar Noureldin later added that the voting center he'd been waiting in line at did not have accomodations for people with disabilities.

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Voters hoping to cast their ballot at the Ace Hotel voting center in downtown Los Angeles braved long lines, with some people reportedly waiting up to two hours to vote on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Chava Sanchez/LAist )

If you’re still planning to vote and need guides on where to go and how to research, we’ve got that all here. We’ll have more dispatches as the day goes on.

Caroline Champlin, Sharon McNary and Brianna Lee contributed to this report.