Los Angeles County’s Vote Centers and the New Voter Experience

Voting Solutions for All People: Los Angeles County’s Vote Centers and the New Voter Experience

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Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP)

VSAP was launched by the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) to address an aging voting system and the complex needs of an electorate with 5.3 million voters.

  • Convenient
  • Secure
  • Accessible
  • Increased Options

LA County voters will have the option for where, when and how to vote.


Human-Centered Design

  • LA County partnered with IDEO to create a voting system through a “human-centered design process”
  • The design of the system was driven by the needs of LA County voters
  • All of the components of VSAP are publicly owned

VSAP Documentary: Democracy by Design


The New Voter Experience

  • New Technology
  • Flexible and Expanded Voting Options
  • LA County Vote Centers

Ballot Marking Device (BMD)

  • Modern touchscreen
  • Not connected to the internet
  • Prints a paper ballot that can be verified by the voter before casting
  • Accessible features include: ability to adjust font size, tilt screen angle, color and contrast
  • Option to use the audio ballot interface with a keypad to listen and navigate through the contests
  • Option to read or listen to your ballot in 13 languages
  • Allows for a private and independent voting experience

The New Voter Experience: BMD Tutorial Video


Interactive Sample Ballot (ISB)

  • An option that voters can use at the vote center to help expedite the voting process
  • Allows a voter to mark their sample ballot on a mobile device or computer and generate a Poll Pass prior to arriving at a vote center
  • The voter scans the Poll Pass on the Ballot Marking Device to verify or make changes to their selections before casting their ballot

Electronic Pollbooks (ePollbooks)

  • Replaces the printed list of voters
  • Will be used by vote center staff to verify the registration eligibility of a voter in real time
  • Enables Conditional Voter Registration, which enables a voter to register and vote on the same day
  • ePollbooks will indicate if a voter has already voted anywhere in the County and will not allow voting at multiple locations

Improved Vote By Mail (VBM) Ballot

  • Newly redesigned full face ballot launched in November 2018
  • Larger font, clearer instructions
  • Vote by Mail drop boxes placed in convenient locations throughout the County, available for 29 days prior to Election Day
  • No postage necessary

Extended Voting Period

  • Vote centers will be open for up to 11 days, which include two weekends
  • Vote by Mail Drop Box locations will be available for 30 days
  • Vote centers will be open for a minimum of 8 hours per day
  • Mobile and Pop-up vote centers can also be set up if needed

Vote Centers

  • A target of 1,000 conveniently located vote centers near your home, work, schools, etc.
  • Allows voters to cast ballots at any vote center in the County
  • Allows for voters to register and vote on the same day
  • May be located in a variety of facilities, including public buildings, workplaces, places of worship and shopping centers

Animated Video: LA County Vote Centers


California Voter’s Choice Act Requirements

  • Vote centers must be equally distributed across the County
  • Must have voting equipment that are accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • Minimum requirements to consider:
    • Proximity to public transportation
    • Proximity to population centers
    • Proximity to low-income communities
    • Accessible and free parking
    • Distance and time a voter must travel by car or public transportation

Election Code and County Operational Requirements:

  • Universal Accessibility
    • 32” wide doorways
    • ADA designated parking
    • Free of internal barriers that impede wheelchair access
  • Minimum suitable room size
    • Small: 1,050 sq ft* – 10 BMDs
    • Medium: 2,450 sq ft* – 30 BMDs
    • Large: 3,850 sq ft* – 50 BMDs
      *Numbers are approximate

Other important requirements to consider:

  • Secure network connectivity for electronic pollbooks
  • Power and electrical capacity to support the ballot marking devices, printers and equipment
  • Availability during the voting period

Vote Center Identification

To identify the most suitable locations for vote centers, Los Angeles County conducted research and analysis of potential facilities and robust public outreach that identified where voters would prefer to vote.


Focus Groups and Surveys

PlaceWorks and RR/CC conducted 8 focus groups and nearly 2,500 surveys with registered and potential voters in Los Angeles County. Participants discussed the following topics:

  • Preferred types of facilities in which people would prefer to vote
  • Preferences for vote center locations in relation to where people live, work and recreational activities
  • Preferred days of week and time to vote

Participants feel most comfortable voting at:

  • Public libraries
  • Places of worship
  • Community and Recreation centers
  • Public schools
  • City Halls

Onsite Assessments

Site visits were conducted to “ground-truth” all potential vote centers to:

  • Measure room size

  • Check for ADA accessibility

  • Assess parking and access barriers

  • Verify on-site and area conditions

  • Discuss facility availability, programming and willingness to participate


Input from Public Agencies

  • RR/CC collaborated with City Clerks who helped to coordinate facility comments from various staff departments
  • City Clerks also reviewed facilities and provided their own feedback based on first-hand experience with the facilities and running elections

  • With the assistance of these public agencies, we received feedback on nearly 5,000 facilities!

  • LA County Board Offices

  • LA County CEO’s Office

  • LA City Department of Water and Power

  • Metro

  • Parks & Recreation

  • County and City Public Libraries

  • Public Works

  • School Districts (Approximately 100)

  • United States Postal Service

  • Workforce Development Aging and Community Services (WDACS)


Community Meetings

We received 265 suggested facilities during the first round of community meetings!

  • RR/CC collaborated with community partners who conducted outreach and facilitated meetings

  • 33 meetings throughout the County allowed participants to:

  • Learn about California Voters Choice Act and the vote center assessment process

  • Comment on and suggest potential facilities using comment cards

  • Tell us about community characteristics such as traffic, lighting, and parking conditions


Online Portal

The Vote Center Placement Portal is a custom web-based platform where the public can:

  • Review currently submitted vote centers and status as rejected or under consideration

  • Comment on proposed vote centers

  • Suggest new vote centers sites

  • Share why a facility would or would not make a good vote center


Vote Center Identification

Facilities have been scored and ranked, identifying 2,000 viable vote center locations and 250 dedicated VBM Drop-off locations.

  • Additional analysis is being conducted to select the best 1,000 facilities

  • Final selections will also incorporate 

  • Public feedback

  • Programming barriers

  • Readiness of facility

  • ADA mitigation needs

2,000 Potential Vote Centers Countywide!


Next Steps

Facility Recruitment Process

  • County staff is conducting a comprehensive assessment of facilities including accessibility, electrical capacity and network infrastructure

Ongoing Vote Center Suggestion Process

  • Vote center identification will be an ongoing process in every election.
  • The public is encouraged to be involved in this process of finding the most viable and accessible vote center sites for the 2020 elections and beyond.

To provide comments and/or suggestions for potential vote center locations, you may:

  1. Visit the Suggest/Comment Station to experience the online web portal or to leave a comment card.

  2. Visit the online portal any time: http://www.placeworkscivic.com/project/lacovcpp or visit vsap.lavote.net

  3. Email suggestions and comments to: votecenter@rrcc.lacounty.gov


Upcoming Events

Mock Election

  •  September 28-29, 2019
  • The Mock Election will allow the public to interact with all the new technology available at the vote centers in a fun and exciting event
  • 50 vote centers throughout LA County

▪ Demo Centers

  • October 2019- January 2020
  • Simulated vote centers where the public can see and interact with the new voting equipment
  • Will be open on weekdays and weekends at various locations throughout LA County

Election Administration Plan

  • Outlines the plan for voter education and the list of vote centers
  • Draft plan will be presented through a public meeting and allow for comments
  • Final plan must be submitted to the CA Secretary of State

Full Implementation in 2020

  • Presidential Primary Election 2020
    • The first vote centers open February 22, 2020 
    • Election Day is March 3, 2020
    • Ballot Marking Device, Interactive Sample Ballot and Electronic Pollbooks will be available Countywide

Stay Engaged!

Website
vsap.lavote.net

Email
vsap@rrcc.lacounty.gov

Follow us on social media
@lacountyrrcc


For more information, download the presentation.