Jamaica News: Thousands of residents in the state of California are making use of a new Vote by Mail (VBM) system for the upcoming Mid-term Elections in the United States of America, which could influence a change in legislation in other states and countries around the world, especially those in the Caribbean.
This new voting system, where residents have the option of receiving their official ballot cards for voting by mail days before elections, was introduced for the elections that will take place on Tuesday (November 6), by the Los Angeles (LA) County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, which is the overseer and facilitator of the voting procedure for the largest county in the US.
Speaking at a press conference with journalists participating in the Foreign Press Centers’ International Reporting Tour at the LA County Registrar-Recorder’s Office in Los Angeles on Friday (November 2), Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Dean Logan, said that this makes the voting process more accessible and convenient, and allows residents to take their votes in ahead of the elections on Tuesday, before the polling stations are even open.
“We are days away from the November 6 Mid-term Elections, and a major election happening is that we actually have people on the third floor coming in here to vote today, so this is a live polling station for early voting, and that’s taking place every day leading up to Tuesday,” Mr. Logan said.
They believe this change in the way Californians are able to vote will influence a change in legislation in other states and eventually other countries around the world, and allow residents to vote ahead of election days. However, their votes would not be counted until the day of an elections.
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US in terms of population and the third largest in the area. It is the centre of a five-county metropolitan area. There are 5.2 million registered voters in the LA County, one of the largest in the United States, with a diverse electorate, which will also influence the outcome of the Mid-term Elections.
“We are a diverse electorate, literally in every sense of the word. LA County is diverse in terms of ethnicity, in terms of economics, in terms of age demographics, and in terms of geography. A lot of people think of Los Angeles as being this urban centre in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. That’s certainly true, but we also have a very large rural area and an agricultural community in the northern part of our county,” Mr. Logan said.
Although Tuesday will be the official date for voting, when JIS News visited the LA County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, numerous residents were seen casting their votes, and staff members were seen packaging the ballots cards they received from early voters in order of names and jurisdiction.
Resident of California, Annie Gilliland, told JIS News that she decided to use the VBM system because she works at the Mojave National Preserve, which is a National Park located in a desert that is hundreds of miles from the nearest voting station, and it would be tedious for her to travel far to vote.
“I live pretty far from the polling places where you have to physically go, so I just applied to do it by mail. It’s much easier and I just voted as soon as it got mailed to me. That was a couple of weeks ago, and now I feel like it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it,” Ms. Gilliland said.
On Tuesday, when the polls are open at 7:00 a.m., more than 4,000 locations will be available for voting in California, where residents will be able to vote in the traditional way. On that day, votes from persons who previously received their ballots by mail and brought them in, will be officially counted as well.
The ballots being mailed to residents in California are offered in 12 different languages.
Source: JIS News