Los Angeles County is home to what many consider a relatively thriving Latino political leadership contingent. The City of Los Angeles has the most prominent Latino mayor in the country, Antonio Villaraigosa. We have a strong Latina on the county board of supervisors, Gloria Molina. There is also a delegation of Latino congress members, state senators, and state assembly representatives in Los Angeles County.
You would think that with all of the publicity about the Latino vote during this election cycle that there would be plenty of early voting locations in Los Angeles County, but guess what? There is only one place LA County residents can go to vote early, and that is at the county registrar’s office in Norwalk. How inconvenient! A county with a Latino population that stands at approximately 47.3% of the total as of 2006, a county where Latinos have a tradition of self-governance prior to becoming a state in the union, has only one early voting location, while the O.C. to the south has early voting in multiple locations. What gives? And why don’t we hear the Latino politicos in LA County demanding more voting locations throughout the county?
Some bloggers on the DailyKos were even lamenting about the early voting situation in Los Angeles in this post about Villaraigosa being in Nevada to campaign for Obama. Peacevoter wrote this:
“Good on Mayor Villaraigosa for helping out in Nevada! But he really should do something about early voting in Los Angeles. There’s only one place in all of LA county to vote early and it’s in
Hawthorne[actually Norwalk]. I met one Obama volunteer who took the bus & it took him four and a half hours to get to the early voting location. (I gave him a ride home) The process was very disorganized. It took hours and hours and hours to finally get the ballot & vote. We need a new registrar of voters. Some one with their act together & a commitment to expediting the process & setting up early voting locations throughout the county.”
Hopefully, someone with some pull in LA County is reading this and will consider extending voting or opening a few more locations before Tuesday! Voting shouldn’t be this hard, especially in what is supposed to be a progressive state. If the people behind the Orange Curtain can get it, there’s no reason for LA County to not offer as many early voting opportunities.