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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

San Gabriel gets ready for 2020 general election

    By Sophia Pu | Staff Writer

    Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP

       In preparation for election day on Nov. 3, San Gabriel residents are casting their votes at ballot drop boxes and vote centers.  

       Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all registered California voters received their ballots in the mail. Voters have three options for voting: in person at a vote center, via an official drop box, or mailing through the postal service.

      Those who are too young to vote have found a way to participate in the election process by working at vote centers.

       Sammi Zhang, a senior at Gabrielino High School, worked at the centers for two days during the March primaries and was paid $280.

       “There actually weren’t as many people coming in as I expected,” stated Zhang. “The experience was quite interesting and fun due to the company I had from other poll workers I befriended. The experienced workers also offered much of their assistance. I liked it and I wouldn’t have wished for it to be any different.”

       According to the California Secretary of State’s website, to sign up to be a student poll worker, students must get school and parental permission, be at least 16 years old, and have at least a 2.5 GPA. They must also attend a training session and be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident.

       Student poll workers like Zhang are especially needed during the pandemic, explained Jonathan Stein, the executive director of the nonpartisan non-profit California Common Cause.

       Stein stated, “Unfortunately, being a poll worker seems to only appeal to older folks, and the average poll worker is over 60. In the era of COVID, that means that most poll workers are particularly at risk in the pandemic, and so we need young people to step up and to take their place, and to play this really important role in helping everyone cast their ballots.”

       The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought changes to vote centers, with new safety mandates.

       “Inside the city, some of the vote centers that we used for the last election could no longer be used,” explained Sharon Clark, San Gabriel city clerk. “They weren’t big enough, because of the social distancing that’s required.”

       The vote centers this year are located at Jefferson Middle School, San Gabriel High School, Wilson Elementary School, and Coolidge Elementary School, and are open from Oct. 30 through election day. Voting is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for early voting and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. 

       The yellow and blue drop boxes are located at Vincent Lugo Park, San Gabriel Library, and Smith Park. They are open 24 hours and until 8 p.m. on election day, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar.

          Links for voter registration and election information can be found on the San Gabriel city website, under City Clerk, in Departments, of Government.

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    San Gabriel gets ready for 2020 general election