Voting Begins in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills residents are already taking part in the election process, even though Election Day itself is not until Nov. 3. This year, voters are casting ballots for the City’s Ballot Measure RP, the Beverly Hills Unified School District School Board, and of course, in the Presidential General Election. Registered voters have begun receiving their ballots in the mail this week. Those ballots can be filled out and returned by mail, with postage already included by Los Angeles County. Early voting and in-person voting locations will also be available to residents.

“Due to the ongoing pandemic, voters are strongly encouraged to either mail or submit their ballots at a vote by mail drop box,” Beverly Hills City Clerk Huma Ahmed, said in a Sept. 22 informational video. “There will be two drop boxes located in Beverly Hills. For those who would like to vote in person, we will have several centers open in the City with health and safety measures in place. Face coverings are required for anyone who wishes to vote in person.”

Three Ways to Vote

Voters actually have three specific ways to cast their ballots: vote by mail via the U.S. Postal Service, in-person voting, and by using a secure drop box–where voters can deposit their ballots to be collected later by election officials. The two drop boxes in the City are located at City Hall (455 N. Rexford Drive) and at the Roxbury Park Community Center (471 S. Roxbury Drive). The capacity for each box is roughly 5000 ballots each and they are accessible on a 24-hour basis. The stainless-steel boxes are secured to the ground, and the mail slot is small enough for only one ballot. The boxes will remain up until polls close on Election Day, but residents can drop off their ballots at any drop box location in L.A. County.

To address vote by mail concerns, L.A. County has also developed an online system called Ballot Trax, which provides information when a voter is to receive a ballot in the mail and when a ballot is received by Los Angeles County.

Voter returning ballot Photo by Bianca Heyward

In-Person Voting

This year, instead of assigned precincts, all registered voters can vote at any approved vote center throughout L.A. County. Residents can vote in-person from either Oct. 24 or Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, depending on the location. Beverly Hills City Hall is an early voting center, which means it will be open for 11 days beginning Oct. 24 through Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Additionally, there will be four locations with five-day voting centers open from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. Daily voting hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters can vote in-person at an outdoor voting center at the Roxbury Park Community Center (471 S. Roxbury Dr.), Horace Mann Elementary School’s multipurpose Room (8701 Charleville Blvd), the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Terrace Room (9876 Wilshire Blvd.) and the Beverly Hills Women’s Club (700 Chevy Chase Dr.).

“Once a voter enters the Vote Center, the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder staff manages the voting experience which would include the enforcement of social distancing and face covering requirements inside the Vote Center,” City Clerk Huma Ahmed told the Courier. “The City of Beverly Hills is providing additional support by creating signage for display outside the Vote Center reinforcing face covering and social distancing requirements. Each Vote Center will also be equipped with hand sanitizer stations for the safety of all voters.  The County will also provide face coverings to those who need them.,” said Ahmed.

According to co-chief infection prevention officer for UCLA Health, Dr. Annabelle de St. Maurice, M.D., M.P.H., “People typically spend, on average, just a few minutes voting, and we get concerned more often about activities that last longer than 15 minutes. So, when you’re up there voting, that’s actually kind of a low-risk activity.”

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