In-Person Voting in Los Angeles County Under COVID-19

LA County launched the new VSAP voting system for the Primary Election on Tuesday March 3, 2020.

Since then, the CA Secretary of State has issued new guidelines for elections administration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BruinsVote coalition recommends Vote-by-Mail as the safest preferred method of voting for the 2020 General Election.

But for those who are unable to or prefer not to Vote-by-Mail, LA County is ensuring that all registered voters can safely vote in person at a Vote Center.

Safety Guidelines

For Voters

All voters are asked to do the following to be compliant with state and federal guidelines:

  1. Wear a face covering.
  2. Maintain physical distance of at least six feet from people not from your household.
  3. Use hand sanitizer before approaching the check-in station and after voting.
  4. Follow any additional guidance provided at the voting location.
  5. Stay home if they are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

For Elections Officials

All elections officials at LA County Vote Centers must comply with the same health guidelines as voters: face coverings, maintaining physical distance, and using hand sanitizer.

Additionally, elections officials are asked to perform the following actions to be compliant with state and federal health guidelines specific to the 2020 General Election:

  1. Work at least 6 feet apart from other staff, or use partitions if 6 feet of separation is not possible.
  2. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  3. Wear gloves when appropriate.
  4. Regularly sanitize work items and equipment such as Ballot Marking Devices, Electronic Pollbooks, keyboards, pens, and any shared materials.

Ballot Marking Device

In-person voters in LA County will use a Ballot Marking Device to cast their ballot.

Watch this video to learn how to use the Ballot Marking Device.

Accessibility

Using input from the voting public and engaging expert designers, Los Angeles County’s new voting system uses a high-tech Ballot Marking Device (BMD).

All Ballot Marking Devices are equipped with the following features for greater accessibility:

  • Scan a Poll Pass (interactive sample ballot) to automatically load interactive sample ballot selections.
  • All content on the touchscreen is available in 13 languages.
  • The touchscreen display is adjustable to find an optimal viewing angle.
  • The touchscreen’s text size and contrast settings are also adjustable.
  • For the visually impaired, each ballot marking device comes equipped with an audio headset that can read the ballot to any voter in 13 languages, as well as an accessible control pad to help voters make their selections.

Security

All Ballot Marking Devices generate a paper ballot to ensure accountability and accuracy.

  • Ballot Marking Devices are not connected to the Internet or any other network.
  • Ballot Marking Devices do not count ballots. The devices only mark the ballots, and the counting is handled by a different system.
  • Voters cannot use the Ballot Marking Device without inserting a blank paper ballot first.
  • Voters can verify their choices by reading a summary of their selections in one of 13 languages printed directly onto their paper ballot.

Electronic Pollbooks

LA County voters can check in at any Vote Center through an Electronic Pollbook system operated by an elections official.

Watch this video to see a demonstration of the official Electronic Pollbook check-in process.

Poll Pass: Interactive Sample Ballot

The newest sample ballot offering for LA County voters is the Poll Pass, or the Interactive Sample Ballot.

Registered voters in LA County can visit the official Poll Pass website to view their personalized interactive sample ballot. Voters can mark their selections ahead of time which will generate a QR code for scanning and uploading, and review your selections on a Ballot Marking Device at a Vote Center.

Outcomes

By pioneering a voter-centered approach to design, Los Angeles County’s voting system maximizes technology to make it easier and safer to cast your vote.

For more information on the new LA County voter experience, visit LA Vote's new voting experience page.