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Early in-person voters flock to L.A. County registrar's office

November 5, 2012 | 12:12 pm

INTERACTIVE: 2012 California Propositions

With just a day until election night, voter turnout is already surging in at least one polling place in Los Angeles County. 

The county registrar's office in Norwalk is the only place in the county where residents can vote in person before the election. A line of about 75 people was curling around the building by 8 a.m. Monday, said registrar media associate Talyssa Gonzales. 

About 5,000 people have cast their ballots in person since the office opened for voting Oct. 8, with more than 2,000 of those votes coming on Sunday, Gonzales said.

INTERACTIVE: 2012 California Propositions

Residents can vote early in person or drop off their mail-in ballot at the registrar's office until 5 p.m. Monday. The experience is slightly different from an election day vote.

Voters fill out a form requesting a mail-in ballot, then complete their ballot by hand in an available booth or in the lobby. Then they seal the completed ballot in a signed and dated envelope and finally drop it in a bin. The last step, however, is the same.

"Then they get their 'I Voted' sticker," Gonzales said.

Early in-person voting is traditionally offered at registrar's offices throughout the country to ease congestion at the polls on election day and provide busy voters with some scheduling flexibility. Many early in-person voters said they will be traveling on election night, Gonzales said. 

"We really encourage people to try to get it out of the way early because it can get busy on election night," Gonzales said.

According to the California Secretary of State, 18,245,970 Californians, or 76.7% of those eligible, have registered to vote in Tuesday’s presidential election as of Nov. 2. That's nearly a million voters more than four years ago, though 2008's election featured a more dramatic registration surge in the last days of the election.


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Photo: Early voters cast their ballots at the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office in Norwalk Monday, the day before the general election. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times