Los Angeles County Prepares for 2020 General Election

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

With the November 2020 general election less than four months away, the County of Los Angeles is actively preparing to ensure that the region’s voting systems are operable and adequate. On July 7, 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors heard from the County Registrar-Recorder, Dean Logan, who presented a status report on the County’s “Voting Solutions for All People” (VSAP) initiative and preparations for the 2020 general election. The below summarizes current County efforts:

1. Implementing 47 specific efforts to improve voting systems, including:

  • Expansion of vote-by-mail (VBM)
  • Complete retesting of all equipment
  • Improvements in vote center resources
  • Increased staffing and training for vote center staff

2. Creating a “County Technology Alliance,” which includes:

  • Conducting an audit of jurisdictional boundaries
  • Validating quality assurance procedures

3. Conducting a pre-election mailing to confirm data, addresses and language preferences

4. Mailing ballots by October 5, 2020, affording voters 29 days to complete and return them

5. Determining vote center locations (given the decrease in office-based work):

  • In March, most in-person votes were cast within three miles of the voter’s residence
  • Locations will be regulated by the Voters Choice Act, at least in part

    - Including a minimum of 114 locations available ten days early—170 for Election Day weekend

    - Plan is to exceed those minimums

6. Expanding staffing outreach to targeted communities and contracting for additional support (in particular, on-site technical support)

7. Addressing technical issues that arose during the March 2020 primary, including by:

  • Renegotiating the contract with the County’s election vendor for e-poll books, including providing on-site technical support
  • Recertifying all ballot-marking devices due to some equipment issues, and having on-site technical support
  • Working with the Secretary of State to ensure connectivity and the synchronization process for e-poll books and database

8. Developing COVID-19 safety protocols with the Department of Public Health

Manatt will continue to monitor developments around the County’s and State’s preparations for the November 2020 general election. At the state level, Manatt is working in support of providing vote-by-mail ballots to all registered California voters for the November general election so that voters have the choice to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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