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Primary Voting: Upgrades on Ballot Marking Devices and Other Ways to Vote

Screen capture of How to vote on the NEW Ballot Marking Device video on LAvote.net.


Alhambra , CA

The March 3 presidential primary, including Alhambra Measure AL, will have upgraded ballot marking devices for those who are casting their ballot at a Vote Center and not by mail.

As the Alhambra Source previously reported, voting is different this year. Starting Saturday, Feb. 22, voters will have an 11-day  period to cast their ballot in the March 3 presidential primary.

The previous ballot marking system is over 50 years old. Replacement parts, accessibility and ballot capacity for a large number of candidates were an issue, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.

The new Ballot Marking Device has a digital interface, similar to an iPad, tablet or e-book, and prints vote selections on a paper ballot. Voters begin by selecting a range of settings to customize their voting experience, including language, text size and audio options. When they are ready to begin voting, they will insert their paper ballot and it will be pulled into the machine. Voters can begin casting their vote on the screen.

To view all candidates, measures and voting choices, a large “more” button is at the bottom of each screen.

When done, voters will get to see all of their selections on one screen and have the opportunity to edit their choice. When your identity and registration has been confirmed, the Ballot Marking Device will print the ballot for the voter to review and then cast it. The machine will deposit it into a locked box at the back of the machine.

The Registrar-Recorder’s office produced a video showing how  to use a Ballot Marking Device:

For those who prefer to fill out a sample ballot before they arrive at a Vote Center, LAvote has created an Interactive Sample Ballot to complete before voting, that will generate a code for a voter to scan and load their choices onto the voting machine.

The Interactive Sample Ballot allows voters to review and make selections on any device. When they are finished it will generate a Poll Pass. This is a QR code; a scannable code that is tied to their name, like a digital airline boarding pass or ticket.

Download or print the Poll Pass, bring it to a Vote Center, scan at the Ballot Marking Device, review vote choices and the machine will print a paper ballot to submit the vote.

The Registrar-Recorder’s office has also produced an informational video about the Interactive Sample Ballot and Poll Pass:

Voting by mail got an update this year: postage is paid. Return to a Vote Center or mail by March 3 to be received by March 6 for your vote to be counted. Don’t forget to sign the back of your envelope.

If you already voted by mail and want to track your ballot through the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, go here. If you want to track each step and choose to receive notifications like when your ballot is received or counted, you can also sign up for Ballottrax.

If you missed the online registration deadline, you can still register to vote at a Vote Center. The Conditional Voter Registration allows you to vote using the same process, but when the ballot is printed, you will return it to an election worker. When your registration is verified, your vote will be counted, and registration active.

For information on same-day voter registration, watch this video by the California Secretary of State:


There are now 976 Vote Centers. If you’re looking for a location to cast your vote, check out LAvote.net’s locator map. Be aware that there is a filter for 4-day and 11-day Vote Centers. It’s under the page title, but above the map.

For more information about accessibility, read LAvote’s accessibility flyer.

Read the Alhambra Source’s previous story about the basic voting changes, Primary Voting Is Different This Year: More Locations, More Time, New Machines

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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