What You Need To Know For Tuesday's Elections in LA County
Election Day is upon us in Los Angeles County. Several races are on the Nov. 5 ballot, including city council seats, multiple cities in the San Gabriel Valley looking to raise their sales tax rates, and a $15/hour minimum wage for hospitality workers in Rancho Palos Verdes.
This is also the final election which makes use of neighborhood polling locations before L.A.County switches to its new voting system (more on that below).
To prime residents for the change, the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder is deploying a few of the new ballot marking machines at all locations, according to Julane Whalen, a public records act coordinator at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office. However, "the polling places will still have our traditional method of voting, InkaVote, for this election," Whalen said.
Here's what's on the ballot, what that big electronic machine at your polling center is, and more Election Day essentials:
WHAT'S ON THE BALLOT?
It depends on where you live.
Measures in Claremont, Irwindale, Monrovia, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena aim to raise the sales tax to fund public services and parks. If approved, the sales tax in these cities would be the state maximum 10.25 percent.
In Hermosa Beach, Measure H aims to raise the hotel bed tax to 14 percent. It is currently 12 percent. Residents will also vote on two city councilmembers, a city clerk, and a treasurer.
Hermosa Beach and South Pasadena voters will also choose whether to make the office of city clerk an appointive position.
In Lynwood, voters will decide whether to approve Measure PS, which would remove the 10-year sunset provision from its existing sales tax. The sales tax rate there is 10.25 percent.
In Rancho Palos Verdes, Measure B would enact a $15/hour minimum wage for hospitality workers at large hotels, golf courses, and amusement parks. Voters will also choose three city councilmembers.
In San Marino, voters will decide via Measure SM whether to continue a parcel tax in order to fund paramedic services, fire protection and prevention, and police protection. Voters will also choose two city councilmembers.
In Pico Rivera, voters will choose a new city councilmember for an unexpired term.
In La Habra Heights, voters will choose two city councilmembers.
In Compton Unified School District, voters will choose three board general board members.
For a list of measures that will appear on local ballots, click here.
WHEN CAN I VOTE?
Polling centers in Los Angeles County open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, according to the county's website.
WHERE CAN I VOTE?
A list of polling centers in L.A. County can be found here. If you were mailed a sample ballot, your polling location should be printed on the back of it, according to the California Secretary of State.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM REGISTERED TO VOTE?
To find out if you're registered to vote in California, click here.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
To register to vote in California, you must:
- Be a United States citizen and California resident
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
- Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
If you meet the above criteria, you can register to vote online. Alternatively, you can pick up a paper registration form at any Department of Motor Vehicles field office, and many post offices, public libraries, and government offices, or request one from your county elections office.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 5 elections has already passed, but you can still visit your local elections office and fill out a provisional ballot. The California Secretary of State's website has more information on how this works.
WHAT IF I FORGOT TO SEND BACK MY VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?
Vote-by-mail ballots must be sent and postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county registrar within three days of Election Day. Those who would like to turn in their completed ballots in person can drive to their polling center and turn in the ballot by hand by 8 p.m.
WHAT ARE THOSE ELECTRONIC MACHINES AT MY POLLING CENTER
All polling locations in L.A. County will also be equipped with at least one electronic machine, so adventurous souls who want to try the new system may do so. Officials anticipate rolling out this electronic system at vote centers in the next election in early 2020. The county allowed residents to sample the machine back in September.
This is part of the Voters Choice Act, which voters passed in 2016 and aims to make voting more accessible and efficient for millions of people. Our recent article unpacks the changes in store for L.A. County, which includes closing neighborhood polling places in favor of so-called vote centers that will open up to 10 days before elections and where residents can drop off their mail-in ballot, register to vote (even on the day of the election), get help voting in multiple languages and get a replacement vote-by-mail ballot if yours is lost or destroyed.
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS.
Our Human Voter Guide contains answers to common questions you may have about voting in California. Just don't read up on the election information -- the guide was created in 2016.
Politics reporter Libby Denkmann contributed to this story.