By Brandon HENSLEY
L.A. County will implement new ways to make voting more accessible for Election Day this year.
The most notable innovation will be the option to register online, said Efrain Escobedo, executive liaison at the County Registrar-Recorder. People will be able to register at the county website www.lavote.net, or at a federal-level website made available at a later time.
Escobedo did make it clear there is no option to cast a ballot online.
“There is no online voting,” he said. “In California [you’re only] able to register to vote online.”
Online registration in California will launch in either late August or early September.
“It’s a part of a senate bill that was passed last year pushing the state to make online voter registration available in time for this election,” said Escobedo, who added that California is now the largest state to adopt this style. Eleven other states have already implemented it.
In addition, voters can now request through the registrar website to have their sample ballots emailed to them, rather than have a hard copy mailed. This way smart phone users can always have it with them. Escobedo explained the reasons for online registration and sample ballots being emailed.
“Only because California and particularly L.A. County’s mobility rates are very high,” he said. “So, according to the census, people in L.A. County move every 1.2 years. People have to be re-registering. Also a huge share of the population in L.A. County is under 30 and very mobile and more likely to complete things electronically.
“If you take those two innovations into account … November 2012 compared to November 2008 will probably offer a lot more options for voters to participate.”
Packets including three new languages at each voter’s polling place will also be available. Those languages are Thai, Hindi and Khmer (Cambodian).
Election Day is Nov. 6. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 22. Voters may request an absentee ballot beginning 60 days prior to the election. Mailing absentee ballots begins 29 days prior to the election.
For more information visit lavote.net.