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Elections Are Over, So Why Are Ballot Drop Boxes Still Around?

A ballot drop box sits on a street corner. In the background, cars and pedestrians are on the move.
A ballot drop box remains in front of the Little Tokyo Branch Library, with a small sign that reads "KIOSK CLOSED."
(Julia Barajas
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The 2022 General Election came to a close on Nov. 8, but you can still see ballot drop boxes throughout Los Angeles County, often next to public libraries.  

Why? For one, the boxes are bolted or chained in place.

But there’s another, more important, reason for their lingering presence, according to the L.A County Registrar’s office. Officials want the drop boxes to be easy for voters to locate.

The office establishes contracts with public and private facilities that agree to host a drop box on their premises, said Mike Sanchez, a registrar’s office spokesperson. Many of those partnerships last for years, so voters can get familiar with the drop box locations and know where to find them during elections, he added.

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Ballot drop boxes are available to voters 29 days before and on Election Day. And just like vote centers, the boxes closed at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. They’ve been sealed since then to ensure no ballots arrive beyond the legal deadline. A “KIOSK CLOSED” sign lets voters know they’re not available until the next election.

Though many races have been called — including those for L.A. mayor and L.A. County Sheriff — votes are still being tallied. Vote by mail “curing” — a process that helps voters fix their ballots if they make a mistake — will continue through Dec. 3. The registrar’s office plans to certify the final election results by Dec. 5.

If you’re registered to vote in L.A. County, you can check if your ballot’s been processed on the registrar's website. California voters in other regions can check the state’s website.

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