Voting in Los Angeles: Where to go, what to bring, how to get there

Today is the last day to register to vote

Everything you need to know before the November 6 election

Midterm elections are Tuesday, when Los Angeles County residents will cast votes for 11 state measures and a number of local ones, plus a new governor.

This election might not seem as glamorous as a presidential election, but there’s a lot at stake, including a potential repeal of California’s gas tax and a proposal to allow cities and counties—not the state—to regulate rent control.

But first, you’ve got to cast your vote.

To find out if you are registered to vote, click here. If you are not, you missed the October 22 deadline, but you can still vote conditionally. The county registrar’s website has all the details on that.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about voting on November 6, from when polls are open to how to find your polling place.


When to vote

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, but, if you are waiting in line to vote at 8 p.m. when the polls close, you’re legally allowed to vote. You’re guaranteed time off to vote—take it. (Under state law, only two hours of it has to be paid).

You can vote early any time between now and November 6 at the Norwalk headquarters of the Los Angeles County Registrar. Nine additional early voting locations will be available the two weekends before Election Day (October 27 to 28 and November 3 to 4). Those locations are posted on the county registrar’s website; they include the East Los Angeles Library, West Los Angeles College in Culver City, Long Beach City College, and Jackie Robinson Community Center in Pasadena.

How to vote by mail

Voting by mail is still a possibility. The last day to apply for a vote by mail ballot is October 30. (The application must be received by the county registrar by that date.)

Once you’ve filled out your vote by mail ballot, you can drop it off at any polling place on Election Day, or at any one of 150 designated drop-off locations across the county.

If your vote by mail ballot is postmarked on or before November 6 and returned to the county registrar’s office by Friday, November 9, your ballot will be processed and counted. (But please, return your ballot on or by Election Day—don’t push it!)

Where to vote

Your polling place is listed on the back of your sample ballot, but if you’ve misplaced it, don’t worry. This state website lets you plug in your address to find out where you need to go. (If you’re in Los Angeles County, it sends you here.)

If you did not get a sample ballot, make sure you are registered to vote! Check your voter status here.

Get yourself to the polls

Metro’s making it cheaper to get to the polls on Election Day by offering free rides on buses and trains on November 6.

If you’re driving, note that parking rules will be “relaxed” within a one-block radius of every polling location, says Los Angeles Department of Transportation spokesperson Oliver Hou. That means parking meters, time limits, preferential parking districts, and street cleaning can be ignored for one day so you can do your civic duty.

Still deciding which way to vote?

You can access all of Curbed LA’s local election coverage here.

What about wearing my “Yes on 10” t-shirt?

Don’t. California has a law forbidding passive electioneering—i.e., wearing any visible campaign statements or carrying signs to a polling place. You will be asked to cover up any politically-charged signage on your body prior to voting.

What to do with your phone down while you’re voting

You can use your cell phone at the poll to access your sample ballot, apps, and to reference any notes you might have taken. And yes, if you feel you must, you can also take a ballot selfie. The in-booth photo is now legal in California.

Correction: Due to inaccurate information provided by the city’s transportation department, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that parking restrictions would be relaxed for a mile around polling places. The correct radius is one block.

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