Local

Heads up! Long lines are expected at Nov. 8 polling locations

FILE: Workers at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Elections Operations Center pack materials to be delivered to polling places into ballot boxes on Oct. 23, 2008 in Santa Fe Springs, California.
FILE: Workers at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Elections Operations Center pack materials to be delivered to polling places into ballot boxes on Oct. 23, 2008 in Santa Fe Springs, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

If you're planning to participate in the Nov. 8 general election, consider a mail-in ballot instead of voting at your usual polling place.

Because of the lengthy list of state ballot measures and the high interest in the presidential election, experts anticipate long lines at polling places across California.

A record 18.2 million Californians are registered in this election, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced this week. In a five-day period in September, Padilla's office received more than 370,000 voter registrations, driven by reminders to register to vote from websites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

"For the longest ballots in L.A. County, the registrar of voters timed how long it might take a voter to fill out," said Deanna Kitamura, who is involved with the voting project of the nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles. "Ten to 11 minutes."

Anticipating long waits, Los Angeles County election officials are encouraging voters to cast their ballots during off hours and lunch hours, Kitamura said at KPCC's Hack the Vote event Thursday night.

Starting on Tuesday, you can vote early at the registrar's main office at 12400 Imperial Highway, Room 3002, in Norwalk. If you have a mail ballot, you can drop it off at about 75 locations, also starting Tuesday. The county has an online drop-off locator to find the site nearest you.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 24. Registration can be completed online. You also can apply for a mail ballot on the registrar's website. The deadline to submit mail ballot applications is Nov. 1.