Voting can be a fun, shared experience for families. It is also a wonderful opportunity to talk to your children about your values and teach them about democracy. Studies show that including children in the voting process increases the likelihood that they will vote as adults.
Upcoming Election Day: March 3, 2020
Vote Centers Open: February 22, 2020
Vote Centers Close: March 3, 2020, at 8:00 PM
Voting in L.A. is Now Easier than Ever
Los Angeles County has finished implementing a new system to make voting more convenient. Voting is now:
- Faster – When you walk into the polling booth in March you may notice a couple of things that are different. Instead of traditional paper ballots, L.A. County has moved to a more accessible electronic voting machine. Also, instead of receiving a paper sample ballot, you can now receive an interactive sample ballot that is accessible on any smart device by registering here.
- Closer – Instead of having to go to a specific polling location to vote you can now go to whichever “vote center” is closest or most convenient for you. Click here to find the nearest vote center to you.
- More Time to Vote – Instead of having to vote on election day, you can now vote at any voter center of your choice starting 10 days prior to election day. Also, by filling out your interactive sample ballot ahead of time, you will receive a personalized code on your smart device that you can scan into the electronic voting machines to quickly upload your preferences.
Voting Basics for Parents
The State of California and the County of Los Angeles have made the voting experience as family friendly as possible. Did you know…
- You can bring your child with you to the voting booth. Parents may bring children under the age of 18 to the vote center and into the voting booth.
- Unless it’s your first-time voting, you don’t need to show ID. For complete rules regarding Voter ID in California, visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.ca.gov.
- Send your mail-in ballot or surrender it at any vote center in L.A. County by Election Day (March 3, 2020). Your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received by the County Registrar’s office within three days. Visit www.lavote.net for more information on requesting a vote by mail ballot.
Creating a Plan to Vote with Kids
If you decide to take your child with you to vote, you can make the experience as seamless as possible by thinking through your Election Day plan in advance.
Here are a few tips:
- Make sure you are registered to vote before February 18th, 2020 - register here. In California, the deadline to register to vote is 15 days before Election Day, so don’t forget to register early! If you missed the deadline, check here for information on the conditional voting process.
- Find your vote center: Check here to find out where to vote, what’s on your ballot, and more.
- Set a reminder for Election Day on your calendar: March 3, 2020.
- Check to see what provisions your employer provides on Voting Day. Many employers offer paid leave for state-wide elections.
Making Voting Fun and Memorable for Kids
Do you remember the first time you voted? You can make Election Day a fun, learning adventure with your family by including them in every part of the voting process. Take them to the polls and let them know that their voice counts!
Here are Five Fun Things to include in your Election Day Timeline:
- Register to receive the interactive sample ballot here, then a month or so before election day review the sample ballot and pick one issue that’s important to you and use it as an opportunity to share the importance of voting with your child.
- Mark Election Day on the calendar: Put a fun reminder sticker on March 3, 2020.
On the day of:
- Dress to celebrate the occasion: Wear red, white and blue to the voting booth.
- Show and tell in the booth: Point out the key parts of casting your vote to your child.
- Share your voting sticker and post a picture: Give your child the voting sticker and take a selfie - share it with others. Use hashtag: #MyFamilyVotesLA.
Tips from Parents
Here are a few suggestions from parents who have gone to the voting booth with kids in tow:
• “Fill out the interactive sample ballot in advance and take it with you.”
• “The best tip is to go prepared. Then you are in and out quickly.”
• “Go with your stroller or baby carrier so you can either rock them while you vote or bounce them.”
• “Bring snacks and toys!”
• “Go during off-peak hours such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon.”