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Coronavirus Emergency Makes Voting Easier Than Ever
 

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By Jorge Casuso

September 18, 2020 -- This year, far fewer voters than usual will walk into their polling place on election day, enter a booth and punch a ballot.

Most will likely mail or drop their ballots off days or weeks before November 3, although they can still register and vote as late as election day.

Voting in California has never been easier.

Those registered by October 19 will be mailed a Vote-By-Mail ballot between October 5 and 27 whether they request it or not, according to State election officials.

Voters can register online by October 19 with a California driver license or California identification card number, the last four digits of their social security number and their date of birth.

"Your information will be provided to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature," according to the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office.

Those who do not have a California driver license or California identification card can still use the online form to apply to register to vote.

However, they will need to take additional steps to complete their voter registration, officials said.

A free tracking system available to California voters then tells them via email, text or phone when they can expect to receive their ballot and when it is received by the LA County Clerk/Registrar Recorder.

After October 19, voters can still register, but they must do so in-person at a Los Angeles County Vote Center between October 24 and November 3. They can vote on the same day they register.

Election workers at the centers will "follow strict County and State public health and safety guidelines to provide a safe voting environment," officials said.

This includes requiring voters to wear a clean face-covering and maintain 6 feet of distance from other voters and election workers.

A record number of voters this year are expected to vote by mail.

Those who cast ballots using the U.S. Postal Service must have them postmarked by Election Day.

Under a new State law, the ballot can be received by the LA County Clerk/Registrar Recorder up to 17 days after the election.

Registered voters can also drop off their ballots at 24-hour Vote-By-Mail Drop-Off Boxes being installed throughout LA County.

Voters can drop off ballots at any of the locations between October 5 and Election Day. A complete list of LA County Drop-Off locations will be posted on lavote.net by mid- September.

In Santa Monica, Drop-Off Boxes will be installed in or near the Santa Monica Main Library, the Montana Branch Library, Virginia Avenue Park and Marine Park by late September, according to the Santa Monica City Clerk's office.

Those who wish to follow tradition can still go to a local polling lace on election day (though there will be fewer), provide proof of who they are, draw the curtain and cast their ballot.

Local polling places are being determined and will be posted on lavote.net by late September.

But as of the 2018 election, Santa Monica voters no longer need to go to their local polling place. They can vote at any Vote Center in the county.

For more information visit the Santa Monica City Clerk's election page at https://www.smvote.org/


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