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What You Need To Know Ahead Of The Start Of In-Person Voting For The 2020 CA Primary

A child peeks out of the voting booth.
A child peeks out of the voting booth.

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Today marks one month until in-person voting begins for California voters casting ballots in the state’s primary elections, and if you don’t already know, things are going to be a little bit different than you might be used to this time around.

For starters, there’s a good chance you won’t be going to your local polling place this time around. Those have been replaced with larger “vote centers” which will be open for up to 10 days ahead of the election. These vote centers will still provide assistance in multiple languages and allow you to register to vote or update your registration, but it’s still not clear yet exactly where the vote centers will be. Additionally, the old paper and ink ballot marking system is now gone. Instead, voters will be selecting their candidates on so-called “ballot-marking devices” that will allow you to make your choices on a tablet screen. But both cybersecurity and voting rights experts have raised concerns about the system’s safety and efficiency.  The system remains uncertified by the state, which is still investigating some of the problems, and one L.A. County city has even voted to consider a lawsuit against county election officials over the new voting system.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll take a look at these changes and others you’ll want to know before you cast your ballot this year, whether it’s in person or by mail. For more from KPCC politics reporter Libby Denkmann, including our LAist guide to preparing for the March 3rd California primary, click here.

We invited Secretary of State Alex Padilla to join us for our discussion, but he was not available at the time we requested. We also sent several requests to Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder Dean Logan, but neither he nor his office responded to our inquiries before air. We will update this segment if we receive any response.


Libby Denkmann, KPCC politics reporter; she tweets @libdenk