NORWALK (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County has seen a relatively smooth Election Day, following an unprecedented surge of early voters over the past few months.
As of Monday night, over 3,187,000 Angelenos had cast their ballots, a turnout of 55.6% of all registered voters, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office.
Still, tens of thousands lined up across the county on Tuesday to cast their ballots in person. Dean Logan, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, said that as of 11 a.m., nearly 75,000 people had cast in-person votes.
“That is on top of the 2.6 million vote by mail ballots that were returned as of yesterday and more than 535,000 voters who took advantage of the early voting,” he said.
Logan said he believes shorter lines and wait times on Tuesday are thanks to this year’s universal mail-in voting option as well as the early voting period.
There were just under 800 vote centers across the county which opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open through 8 p.m., when polls close. Some L.A. landmarks are serving as poll centers, including Dodger Stadium, the Pantages Theatre, The Forum and Staples Center.
“The process to vote is so easy,” said Lavell Tyson, who voted at The Forum. “Now that I’ve done it, I feel like a big weight is lifted off of my shoulders.”
Like many other vote centers across the county, The Forum has seen a steady stream of voters since opening at 7 a.m.
“It’s my first election. It feels good,” said Ariyana Griffin after casting her ballot. “I’m relieved — not necessarily that it’s over, but I’m relieved that I was able to put my vote in and have my voice heard…”
Ariyana went to vote with her mother and grandmother — three generations who said they believe that this is one of the most important elections of their lifetimes.
“I’m so excited and relieved,” said Ariyana’s mom, Monique Anderson. “This time it feels like I really can make a difference with my voice. I couldn’t sit at home. I couldn’t expect someone else to do it. I have to come out and do my part.”
Sunday Jones also voted at The Forum on Tuesday. She lives in Arizona but is registered in California, and she drove seven hours to cast her vote.
“This is my first time voting and I’m 55 years old,” she said. “It’s hit my front door hard. My family is divided. It’s hard to keep food on the table.”
Aaron Aldecoa also cast his vote in person on Tuesday. He said he felt nervous about the mail-in voting system, so he decided to cast his ballot at a polling location.
Photo Gallery: Voters Hit The Polls Across LA County On Election Day
“One of the main reasons for me why I waited was I didn’t trust the mail-in ballot system,” he said. “I’d just rather come in and fill it out myself and also, it was my first time so I wanted to do it on my own.”
Election officials said there have been no issues reported with the voting machines on Tuesday or during the early voting period. They said they have taken precautions by having field technicians at every vote center to address problems right there on the spot.
After the polls close at 8 p.m., election officials will be releasing the early vote-by-mail results then the in-person early votings results.
“And then throughout the evening as the ballots cast today at the vote centers are secured and transported back here to our tally center, we will be adding those totals until we have an unofficial final tonight,” Logan said.