LA City Clerk’s Office and Election Division ready for March 5 polls


LOS ANGELES – With the March 5 primary nominating elections fast approaching, Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay and LA Chief of Elections Jacob Wexler spoke before members of the media at the Piper Technical Center in Downtown LA on Feb. 14 to talk about the preparations being made and further information on election and voting.

“We will be running election night with a total of 6,300 precinct workers,” Lagmay said the of Election Division’s plans for the March polls.

About 5,200 of those workers will work within city limits. Nearly a thousand of the total number of poll workers will be bilingual, Lagmay added.

“This may be our largest number yet.”

And that large number of poll workers might be fully utilized by the sheer number of voters that will come their way on March 5.

As of Thursday’s briefing, Lagmay said that there are 1.8 million registered voters in the City of LA. If one counts the region outside city limits, which includes the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), that number could easily blow up to 2.5 million voters.

Language, precincts, and vote-by-mail

Aside from the large workforce for the polls, the Election Division has also prepared all election-related paraphernalia, including copies of the Official Sample Ballot, voter information pamphlets, information kiosks, vote-by-mail applications, and even the actual ballots to be used at polling places.

Those materials will be available in English, as well as in the eight federally mandated languages, which include: Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.

Election Chief Jacob Wexler also pointed out that for the first time, the Armenian language will be phased in as a one of the languages that will be used for voter outreach services and translation.

Lagmay revealed that there will be 1,489 total precincts that will serve voters come Election Day. Of that number, 1,311 are within city limits, while 17 outside city limits will accommodate the elections for the LACCD.

She also noted that there will be precincts that will exclusively handle vote-by-mail (VBM) voting because of the geographic challenge they pose or the scarcity of residents. The total number of vote-by-mail precincts will be 71. Of that, 32 are within city limits, while 39 will be outside city borders.

Lagmay noted that the vote-by-mail program “is very vigorous and is increasing every year.”

As of Thursday, Lagmay said that roughly 651,000 vote-by-mail ballots have been mailed out, and over 37,000 filled vote-by-mail ballots have been received back by the Election Division.

“So voting has already begun,” Lagmay said of the early ballots received.

The City Clerk also noted that copies of the Official Sample Ballot (OSB) and the voter information pamphlet have been already mailed out to each voter.

“We usually mail them about 30 days prior to Election Day,” said Lagmay.

The period of registration for voters ended on February 19. Registration for write-in election candidates ended also on the same day.

Lagmay said that the Election Division is still accepting applications for vote-by-mail.

At the back of the OSB, there is an application form attached for requests for vote-by-mail. Voters can send complete applications out to the Election Division no later than February 26.

“If you’re going to vote upon a vote-by-mail ballot, we must receive that in our Election Division, or you may drop it off at any polling place in the City of Los Angeles no later than 8 pm or the close of polls on election night, March 5th,” said Lagmay.

“Please keep in mind that a postmarked date is not valid. We must have actually received your voted ballot.”

Election Day and beyond

On March 5, Angelenos will be selecting among 77 candidates who are running for different positions for the citywide election. Positions up for election include the citywide offices of Mayor, City Attorney, and Controller.

Also up for filling are all our odd-numbered Council District seats: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15.

For the LA Unified School District, and the LACCD, even numbered district seats 2, 4, and 6 will be up for election.

Aside from the various citywide races, voters will have their say on two council-sponsored ballot measures: (1) Proposition A, which is a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for neighborhood public safety and vital city services and (2) Charter Amendment B, which is a technical amendment to the charter that will allow general services officers who transfer to LAPD to qualify for the LAPD retirement system.

“We are also running a school bond measure for the Burbank Unified School District as a favor to Burbank. That bond measure will only be reflected in the ballots of folks in the Burbank Unified School District,” said Lagmay.

According to Wexler, on Election Night, beginning at approximately 8:30 pm, the Election Division will post election bulletins every 45 minutes, until all precincts are accounted for.

Bulletins will be available on the Election Divisions website at, as well as the City’s Channel 35. Wexler said that the first bulletin will include all vote-by-mail ballots that the division has received and processed prior to Election Day.

“Throughout election night, the unofficial results from the surrounding cities will incorporated into our results as those become available to us,” Wexler said.

Election night’s results are unofficial, according to the Election Chief.

Following Election Day, the division will commence with its election canvass process, which will be completed no later than March 26, or 21 days after the polls.

Wexler said that the canvass will conclude with the Election Division issuing its certification of final tally. Those will then be the official election results.

(LA Weekend February 20-22, 2013 Sec. A pg.1)

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