By Gary Kohatsu
With the Nov. 3 presidential election less than 60 days away, Gardena City Clerk Mina Semena issued updated information on Sept. 8 regarding this season’s voting process.
Important dates to know leading to the election:
Sept. 24, the mailing of sample ballot books; Oct. 5, the mailing of Vote by Mail Ballots and the first day “vote by mail” drop boxes will open; Oct. 19, the official registration deadline — so, if a voter is not registered by this date, he/she will not be issued a Vote by Mail Ballot; Oct. 24, begins the 11-day Vote Centers, the hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Oct. 30, the 5-day Vote Center opens from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 3 is Election Day and the voting centers are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Gardena voters can choose when, where and how to vote, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorders office and the Gardena City Clerk’s office.
All registered voters are eligible to vote by mail or vote in person at a Gardena vote center. Those voting in person should remember that the County has replaced the antiquated (election-day) polls and system with a new, 10-day computerized voting process leading up to election day.
So voters now have 10 days to vote in person at one of Gardena’s two centers (see below).
The new system incorporates electronic poll-books and ballot marking devices.
Voters much remember to vote only once, either by mail or in person. Voting twice in the same election is a felony.
IN-PERSON VOTE CENTERS
There are two voting centers in the city of Gardena:
(1) Rowley Park Auditorium and Gym at 13220 S. Van Ness Ave. Both facilities will be an 11-day center for voting, starting on Saturday, Oct. 24 — from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(2) The Nakaoka Community Centerat 1670 W. 162ndSt. will be a 5-day center for voting starting on Friday, Oct. 30 — from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Election Day, Nov. 3, both vote centers’ hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
VOTE BY MAIL DROP BOXES
The city will have two 24-hour vote-by-mail (VBM) drop boxes at the above mentioned vote centers starting Oct. 5.
A drop box at Rowley Park will be stationed outside the front door of the auditorium.
A drop box at the Nakaoka Community Center will be placed on the sidewalk near the building’s north entrance and roundabout parking lot off of 162ndStreet.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Due to the COVID-19 virus, all registered L.A. County voters will automatically receive a Vote by Mail ballot. State and local officials encourage voters to vote by mail due to the Virus pandemic.
Those opting to vote in person are encouraged to do so early in the new 10-day voting process (prior to election day) to avoid long waits. Voting in-person requires observing state and county guidelines.
- voters should wear a clean face covering when visiting a vote center.
- Election workers will wear protective gloves and masks.
- Social distancing will be enforced at the check-in and voting process.
- Ballot marking devices will be sanitized after every voter.
- Gloves will be provided to voters upon request.
Semenza said that citizens can register to vote @lavote.net and by using the Gardena direct app. Other Gardena city clerk information can be accessed by logging on at https://www.cityofgardena.org/election-information/