Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles region lags behind rest of state in mail-in votes

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The deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the June 3 primary election is May 27. About 1.5 million mail-in ballots are already in the hands of L.A. County voters, according to the County Registrar-Recorder. 

But in 2012, only about 40 percent of voters in the L.A. region filed mail ballots.  That lagged behind the state as a whole, where just over half of votes were mailed in, according to a recent report by the UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project.

Mail-in voting isn't uniformly popular across all age and demographic groups, the report said.  Voters ages 23 and under are the least likely to vote by mail. Two-thirds of voters over age 64 mail their votes.

California has one of the highest rates in the nation of mail-in ballots that don't get counted, mainly because voters send their ballots in too late. It has to arrive at the Registrar's office by June 3rd or be dropped off that day at a polling place, or it won't be counted.

However, ballots that arrive at the Registrar's office several days before the election, in time to be processed for counting, are the first to be put in the counting machines after the polls close. Ballots dropped off at polling places on Election Day are among the last to be counted.

The county permits online requests for a one-time vote by mail, or to get permanent vote by mail status. 

Use KPCC's voter guide to see who'll be on your ballot this June.

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