Attendees of Rep. Waters’ meeting about the new voting system in Los Angeles County test touchscreen-operated voting machines that will be used in voting centers Saturday, Nov 2.
(Rosemary Montalvo/The Union)

On Saturday, November 2, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) conducted the first in a series of educational meetings that she will host throughout the 43rdDistrict with local elected officials, the leadership of community and civic organizations, and her constituents in order to increase awareness and understanding of the new Los Angeles County Voting System.

The new voting system, which will be implemented in 2020, will replace the approximately 5000 traditional neighborhood polling places with 1000 new “voting centers;” extend the voting period to 11 days at select locations; create electronic rosters that enable same-day registration; utilize new, high-tech touch screen voting machines; and provide trained voting center staff to assist all voters, including those with disabilities and those who may need language assistance.

Congresswoman Waters’ meeting was held at El Camino College in Torrance as a part of House Democrats’ “For the People” agenda, which protects voting rights, improves access to the ballot box, and ensures the security of all U.S. elections. The meeting featured a presentation by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Dean C. Logan, who demonstrated the new voting machines, explained how and where they will be used, and answered questions from leaders across the 43rdDistrict, which included representatives from the Gardena and Hawthorne city councils, the Inglewood Chamber of Commerce, the Torrance League of Women Voters, the Torrance Democratic Club, the South Los Angeles Jack and Jill, and the Second Time Around Seniors Club.

COngresswoman Maxine Waters (File Photo)

“With threats of foreign interference and voter suppression in our elections, I can think of nothing more critical than our citizenry being fully informed and secure with our voting systems. It is imperative that our community leaders are spreading the word and educating their constituencies about the new voting system in order to ensure that no voter is discouraged from participating due to a lack of knowledge or confidence in Los Angeles County’s new voting system,” said Congresswoman Waters.

During the meeting, community leaders had the opportunity to interact with the new voting machines and raise concerns with Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Logan, particularly surrounding the replacement of many traditional neighborhood polling places with new “voting centers” that may be beyond the reach of many communities, and the risk of the new, untested election software failing to accurately count all votes or capture errors.

In her closing remarks, Congresswoman Waters thanked Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Logan for his participation in the meeting. She also announced that she would be holding additional community meetings throughout the 43rdDistrict on the new voting system, and encouraged community leaders and local residents to assist with providing the “educational outreach necessary to penetrate our communities with information about this new voting system.”