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Election Q & A: Early Voting Clarifications

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Photo by hjl via Flickr

We've been receiving quite a few voting related questions, so keep on leaving comments asking more. Earlier, we tackled video and photography. Now we clarify some questions regarding Early Voting and Vote-by Mail.

In regards to Early Voting, does that mean anyone who's registered to vote can vote at that Norwalk place?

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Yes, if you're registered to vote, you can vote in person at the Register-Recorder/County Clerk's office in Norwalk. This info sheet (.pdf) has the address and hours.

Wait, how do I confirm that I'm registered?

That's an easy one. Go this webpage and fill out the info. It will let you know if you are registered and where your local polling place for Election Day is located.

How long will Early Voting in Norwalk take?

Depending on how busy it is, it could be 15 minutes or 45 minutes. And if the popularity of the program unexpectedly picks up... well, you never know. The Registrar-Recorder's office recommends that you arrive ready to know how you will vote to expedite the process.

I heard that Early Voting is the same as Voting by mail (aka absentee voting).

Yeah, that's right. When you arrive at the office, you'll be given an envelope with the Vote by Mail form in it. At that point, you could take it home and mail it in, but that sort of defeats the purpose. The advantage of voting early with the vote by mail form is that you skip the whole worry of "did the post office lose my ballot?" concern.

If I submitted a vote-by-mail application a couple weeks ago and still haven't received a ballot, where is the best place to inquire about my voting status?

The Registrar-Recorder himself, Dean Logan answers this question for us: "The first thing I would suggest to do is go to our web at In the box called "Online Services," you can check to see your status. I would say if they submitted two weeks ago and we don't have a record of that, they should call us."

The number is (562)466-1323.

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More questions answered:
- Why is the only Early Voting location in Norwalk?
- What's the final word on Videoing the Vote in California?
- Fact or Fiction: Absentee Votes Don't Count Unless...

- Kirsten Dunst Videos Her (Early) Vote
- LAist Interview: Debra Cleaver of Long Distance Voter