San Ysidro residents line up to vote at the San Ysidro Seniors Center on Election Day 2016. / Photo by Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft

All of my Election Day traditions are built around voting in person.

On the morning of, I go an early run – my Tour de Polling Places – to see how many of them I can make it past (my record is 5).

Then, I shower up and vote myself.

Then, I head to work and spend the day editing our Voices of the Voters posts, which are built around the perspectives of others who’ve voted in person.

I grew up in Oregon, which was long the only state that conducted voting entirely by mail. Voting in person, therefore, has always seemed like an adorable novelty that I love taking part in.

The truth is, though, the way we vote is constantly changing, and people are voting in person less. When they do vote in person, they can do so at times and places other than their designated precinct during a set number of hours on a single day.

In Orange County and Los Angeles, this will mark the first time voters will be casting ballots at centralized voting centers instead of at polling precincts. It’s a massive shift that will be closely watched and scrutinized. The vote centers open long before Election Day so that people have plenty of time and opportunity to make it in.

People who vote by mail no longer have to include postage in order to send in their ballots.

And we’ve changed the rules locally so that votes and measures – for the most part – must be decided in November. (And yet, we’ll all be weighing in on Measure C, the mayor’s highest priority, on Tuesday. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

There are more ways than ever to get your vote in. (And, there are more politicians than ever who are receptive to ways to make voting easier and more accessible.)

So even if you don’t feel like waking up at the crack of dawn, running past unopened polling places, then staying up all night editing election content, that’s cool. It’s not for everyone. Just figure out a way to get it done. There are fewer and fewer excuses.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Speaking of that election, here’s the last slate of VOSD election coverage to get caught up on.

First, our comprehensive readers guide has a rundown of the ballot measures and the major races we’ve been covering.

About those ballot measures: Poway Unified officials crept close to the legal line in their messaging for a school bond measure on the ballot. Lemon Grove is telling voters that a new sales tax increase won’t just help the city – it could save it from ceasing to exist. And we vetted Newland Sierra’s claims that the development will include plenty of affordable housing.

As for local races we’ve been watching, Maya Srikrishnan broke down the D1 Board of Supervisors candidates’ positions on the border sewage crisis and access to safety net programs.

In podcastland, we did special interviews with City Attorney Mara Elliott, the candidates for D2 on the Board of Supervisors and we revived our election draft to highlight the most exciting races we’ll be watching on Tuesday night.

***

In non-election news, three stories we’ve been following had new developments this week: Emails show the city considered giving SDPD real-time access to smart streetlight cameras.

Former La Jolla High students are suing the district and a former teacher over their claims that he groped them while in the classroom and school officials did nothing.

And MTS is floating a diversion program to help people avoid fines and criminal penalties from their massive enforcement ramp-up.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“Raise your hand if you live in Los Angeles and you’ve ever been hugged by a shaman. I thought not.” – There are few genres I enjoy more than takedowns of dumb things the New York Times writes about Southern California.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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