Human Voter Guide: March 7 last-minute voting help and where to vote early

FILE PHOTO: Voters take part in early ballot casting at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in Norwalk on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
FILE PHOTO: Voters take part in early ballot casting at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk in Norwalk on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Voters across Los Angeles County head to the polls next week Tuesday to vote on key seats and ballot measures.

In Los Angeles, there are eight City Council seats to fill and Mayor Eric Garcetti is on the ballot facing a crowded field of contenders. Plus, voters will decide the fate of measures on issues like marijuana and development, along with races for school board and community college trustees.

To help you get ready, we are back with the Human Voter Guide, our question-and-answer feature about California elections. The Human Voter Guide answers your voting questions on KPCC's Take Two and on the HVG webpage

If you have a question about voting or something on the ballot, call 323-538-5722 and leave a voice mail or send a text. You can also reach out via email: humanvoterguide@gmail.com. 

Let's get started:

Q: It's crunch time. Where can voters go if they want to catch up quickly?

KPCC has a voter resource page called Voter Game Plan that will guide you through common questions about the elections. The page includes links to helpful stories and also the Voter's Edge guide where you can search for ballot information with your address and get personalized results. 

If you haven’t done a single thing until now, this is your voting life saver. 

Q: What about voting by mail? Is it too late to request a ballot at this point?

It’s not too late. Tomorrow, Feb. 28, is the last day to request a vote by mail ballot. You can do so online. You'll need to submit it before midnight. 

If you already have a ballot but haven’t mailed it in yet, you can do so up until Election Day, that’s March 7. One first-class stamp will get it there. 

Q: Any tips for voters who are still deciding on ballot measures?

The first thing to know is that the measures that you’ll be voting on depends on where you live.

Those in Los Angeles County will vote on Measure H. That’s the quarter-cent sales tax that would help fund homeless services. It’s anticipated to raise $355 million annually if voters approve it. 

Some cities have additional ballot measures. In Los Angeles, the measures cover issues like development rules and marijuana regulations.

You’ll find information on these items on the KPCC’s Voter Game Plan website.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., KPCC's AirTalk is also holding a voter cram session focusing on Measure H And Measure S. It will take place in Pasadena at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum. You can RSVP for free online.

Q: Who’s eligible to vote in local city council elections? 

Only residents of each city or district who are registered get to vote in local city council elections, many of them administered by counties. Property and business owners who live outside of the district's boundaries are not eligible. 

Q: Los Angeles County will again open in-person, early voting at various locations this weekend. Last year, there were long lines. What's expected this time?

It’ll be interesting to watch and see if there are long wait times again. The March 7 elections will determine local races, so they are expected to draw fewer voters than what we saw with early voting in October and November.

The L.A. County Registrar’s office has added locations to try and cut wait times. There are seven places around the county where you can vote early: North Hills, Pasadena, Lancaster, Torrance, Culver City, East L.A. and West Covina. Check here for addresses.

Q: How does early voting work?

You just show up. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. One tip to keep in mind: you can also drop off your vote by mail ballot at these locations and if you run into lines you can skip them if you're just dropping off. The lines are for folks who show up without ballots and want to vote in person.

The county registrar has full details online.

Q: Any other tips?

If you live in the 34th Congressional District covering Los Angeles neighborhoods like Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Little Tokyo, keep an eye on your mailbox. You have another election to prep for.

That’s the contest to fill the House seat held by Xavier Becerra, who was selected as California attorney general. Sample ballots are being mailed out for a primary special election on April 4 to fill the seat. There are 23 candidates competing for the congressional seat. 

Series: Human Voter Guide

Municipal elections will be held across Los Angeles County on March 7. To help you navigate the way, we revive KPCC's Human Voter Guide, a series of questions-and-answers about California elections.

Have a question? Email our senior political reporter Mary Plummer, tweet her @maryplummer or leave a voice mail or text at 323-538-5722.