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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2020
SOS Press Office
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla Statement on Los Angeles Voting Lines
SACRAMENTO, CA – Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued the following statement:
"California’s Presidential Primary generated record voter registration and excitement that fueled what appears to be high voter participation. For the vast majority of California voters, the voting experience was positive.
But in Los Angeles County, too many voters faced unacceptably long wait times. Voters who waited patiently for hours deserve our praise for their commitment to democracy. Voters deserve better.
Fifteen counties, including Los Angeles County, conducted their elections under the Voter’s Choice Act. In the 14 other Voter’s Choice Act counties, every voter received their ballot by mail 29 days in advance of the election and had multiple options for returning their ballot. Los Angeles must do the same. I am calling on Los Angeles County to mail every registered voter a ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election in addition to improving the performance of Vote Centers. This would be just a first, but important, step in better meeting the needs of the largest, most diverse voting jurisdiction in the nation.
The Voter’s Choice Act includes several tools that empower voters — early voting opportunities, the geographic flexibility created by Vote Centers, voting-by-mail, and Same Day Voter registration — but they must be deployed well in order to be effective. To ensure that Los Angeles County voters enjoy the full benefits of California’s election reforms, the following concerns must also be addressed ahead of the November 3, 2020 General Election:
- Resources: Vote Centers were understaffed and under-equipped. Response times to calls for service from Vote Center workers were too long.
- Logistics: The coordination of Vote Center set up, deployment of resources, and availability of support for Vote Centers was severely lacking.
- Training: Many Vote Center workers were insufficiently trained.
- Voting Equipment: Many Vote Centers had inoperable voting machines and check-in stations.
With only eight months until the November General Election, it is critical that these issues are addressed in a timely and efficient manner."