Six Steps to Voting During COVID-19

Is this the most important election of our lifetimes? When it comes to climate change, and the changes we need to implement with alacrity, the November 3 election is unquestionably mega-important.

Here are the basics for Los Angeles County voters:

  1. BALLOTS WILL SOON BE ARRIVING AT YOUR HOME. Due to COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered vote-by-mail ballots to be mailed to California voters. In Los Angeles County, sample ballots were mailed on September 25—real ballots should arrive in mid-October. You can either return the ballot by mail, or drop it off in an official drop-off box. Locations will soon be posted here. Most important—be certain to have the ballot postmarked by election day.
  2. IN-PERSON VOTING REMAINS A GREAT OPTION. In Los Angeles County, a few key polling stations will open on Saturday, October 24. All other voting centers – find locations here  – will be open on Friday, October 30 and continue through Election Day. Early voting hours are 10:00am through 7:00pm, and on Election Day, the polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. 
  3. BE EFFICIENT AT THE POLLING STATION. The sample ballot provides a barcode. Bring the sample ballot to the polling place and show the barcode to the election worker. This will expedite check-in and limit your time indoors.
  4. MAKE VOTING AN EXPERIENCE. Some LA County polling stations will be epic. For example, one can vote at Dodger Stadium, or at the fabulous Forum, or at Staples, or at over 150 LAUSD campuses. Return to this website in mid-October to find your ideal voting station.
  5. DO NOT VOTE TWICE. If you vote in-person, DO NOT also mail your ballot. You can also track your ballot—see when it will arrive—and after you mail it, see when it was received. LA County lets you track your ballot as well.
  6. HAVE A PLAN. Here’s my plan: I’m voting early and in-person. In fact, I’m giving Climate Resolve staff a paid half-day on Friday, October 30 to go vote. I’m bringing both my sample and real ballot to Dodger Stadium—might as well make it fun.

Why in-person early voting? Because I want my ballot counted on the night of the election. Not stuck in the mail. Nor counted five tortuous days after the election.

Lastly, I’m assuming you’re registered. Don’t know?? Don’t fear (…but also, don’t delay). In case you haven’t voted recently, you can check your status, see if you’re registered and at what address. There’s still time to register onlineThe deadline for voter registration is Monday, Oct. 19. And, in California, there is also same-day registration where one can register and vote at the same time.

In case you reside outside of California, here are some additional resources: Plan Your VoteVote.orgFiveThirtyEight.

Democracy can be fun.


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