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Senior Living Q & A:Exploring voting options

May 27, 2010|By Nancy Turner

Q. With the election coming up, I am concerned about being able to vote. I do enjoy going to the polls to cast my vote, but sometimes I'm just not up to it. What are my options? — Jackie, La Cañada

You have a number of options available to you.

First, you can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. You may have done this in the past when you knew you would be out of town on election day. Now any registered voter who wishes to can apply for "permanent vote-by-mail ballot status." That way, you don't need to apply for each election.

The simplest way to apply is to use the form that you receive on your sample ballot. Fill it out, cross out "June election" and write "permanent vote-by-mail ballot." Mail/fax it to the address/information listed at least seven days before the election, and your vote-by-mail ballot will be mailed back to you immediately. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by election officials no later than the close of polls (8 p.m.) on election day. Postmarks are not acceptable in California.

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Second, if you become ill, disabled or find that you will be away from your polling place during the final six days prior to an election, you may vote an emergency vote by mail ballot. You can vote in person at the registrar-recorder/county clerk's office or send in a written/signed request for a vote-by-mail ballot authorizing another person to bring you the ballot and return it to the elections office or any polling place after you have voted. The registrar-recorder/county clerk office address is 12400 Imperial Highway, 3rd Floor Affidavit Distribution Section, Norwalk.

Mail it to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, at P.O. Box 30450, Los Angeles, CA 90030-0450. Or fax to (562) 462-2354 or (562) 462-3035.

If election day comes along and you feel like going to the polls to vote, just take your absentee ballot with you and vote in person. You may return your absentee ballot to any precinct polling place in Los Angeles County. However, you can vote only in the precinct where you are registered.

It is the goal of the county recorder's office to have 100% polling-place accessibility for all voters who seek independent voting options. Next week I will explain which services are available at the polls for voters with disabilities.

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