Community Local News West Edition

Waters offers preview of county’s new voting system

TORRANCE — U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters previewed the new L.A. County voting system for local elected officials, community leaders and constituents Nov. 2 at El Camino College.

According to a press release from Waters’ office, the Nov. 2 event was the first of a series that she will host throughout the 43rd District to educate voters on the new system, which will be used for the first time in the state primary election March 3.

“With threats of foreign interference and voter suppression in our elections, I can think of nothing more critical than our citizenry being fully informed and secure with our voting systems,” Waters said.

The meeting included a demonstration of the new voting machines, performed by L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan. He explained how the machines will be used, and answered questions from community leaders and constituents.

Starting in 2020, L.A. County residents will vote at one of the 1,000 new “voting centers” that will replace neighborhood polling places. Also, select locations will offer an extended 11-day voting period. 

The “voting centers” will also have new technology, including electronic rosters that will allow for same-day registration and new touch-screen voting machines. They also will have trained staff to help all voters, including those who need language assistance and those with disabilities.

Present at the meeting were representatives from the Inglewood Chamber of Commerce, the Gardena and Hawthorne city councils, the South Los Angeles Jack and Jill, and the Torrance Democratic Club.

According to the press release, the community leaders in attendance were able to try out the new voting machines and ask questions. They raised concerns about the changes, “particularly [that the] new ‘voting centers’ may be beyond the reach of many communities, and the risk of the new, untested election software failing to accurately count all votes or capture errors.”

According to a report by KCRW, county officials have a list of 2,000 possible locations for the “voting centers,” and are in the process of choosing the best locations. Also, KCRW reports, “county officials are assuring the new electronic system will be secure.”

Waters said, “It is imperative that our community leaders are spreading the word and educating their constituencies about the new voting system in order to ensure that no voter is discouraged from participating due to a lack of knowledge or confidence in Los Angeles County’s new voting system.”

By Quinci Legardye

Contributing Writer