LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Voters will get a chance to test drive Los Angeles County’s new state-of-the-art voting system through a mock election this weekend.
The new system, which officially debuts with the March 3, 2020 primary, features new touchscreen voting machines, an updated mail-in ballot design, and more options for in-person voting.
The LA County Registrar’s Office is keeping the mock election “light and fun” by asking ciitzens to vote on things like their favorite sports team, park, or music venue.
The mock election runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Voters can try out the new system at 50 locations, some of which will have live DJs, surprise celebrities, food trucks and chances to win tickets to professional sports games and amusement parks,.
The decades-old punch card system will be replaced next year by 31,000 new iPad-style touchscreens that allow voters to mark their choices with their finger.
Voters can also increase the size of the font and the contrast on the screen and pick from 15 languages. The devices aren’t attached to the internet for security reasons and the machine prints out a hardcopy paper ballot that is then counted.
“There’s no ambiguity in this ballot. When it prints out there’s no pregnant chads, no deciphering the intent of the voter. It’s very clear. It’s human readable text,” explains LA Registrar Dean Logan.
4200 polling places will be whittled down to about a thousand, but gone is the notion of voting day. “We’re moving away from a single day, single location-based model of voting to an eleven day voting period,” says Logan.
Voters, who will no longer be assigned a place to vote, will be free to vote at any polling site in the county,
“You can go someplace close to work, someplace close to where you drop your kids off at school,” Logan said.