LACCD schools welcome the community to vote in the Nov. 8 midterm election.
By Cassandra Nava, Managing Editor
Valley’s cafeteria will serve as a voting center once again, following its run as a busy location in the county during the 2020 presidential election.
According to the LA County Registrar recorder’s office, Valley is one of the most popular voting centers in the county. The cafeteria will be converted into a hub for democracy, with poll booths replacing dining tables. Students, staff and community members can cast their votes in-person from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.
For those who prefer mail-in ballots, they can be dropped off at the voting box right outside Parking Lot G on Burbank Boulevard, just south of the baseball field. The box will remain open until Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. Those mailing in their ballot must have it postmarked (with prepaid postage) by Election Day.
At the last LACCD regular board of trustees meeting, all members approved the partnership with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to utilize voting centers across all colleges within the 882 square miles of the district.
In a 2021 report from Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, college student voter turnout reached 66 percent, which came close to the national voting rate of all American voters at 67 percent. Younger students, aged 18-21, voted in higher numbers than their older peers — which defied previous notions of youth political engagement.
“Having the vote center on campus will hopefully make it easier for students to engage in the democratic process,” said Valley President Barry Gribbons. “It's really important that students learn early on that their voice matters.”
Nationally, registered voters will decide on the next senator; either democrat incumbent Alex Padilla, or republican Mark P. Meuser. Statewide, Californians will vote on seven state measures. The measures range from abortion rights, to public shool art funding, to certain tobacco product prohibitions.
Locally, Angelenos will get to engage in highly contested races. LA residents will vote on the next mayor, between democrat congress member Karen Bass or democrat (formerly republican) businessman Rick Caruso. The recent Los Angeles City Council scandal in which former President Nury Martinez made racist, homophobic and anti-Black remarks has ignited community members to protest their local government. Angelenos will have a chance to vote for political leaders that align with their values.
There are six LA County specific measures, which range from housing to taxing retail cannabis sales. Measure LA, the LACCD’s bond, is also up for election. A 55 percent “yes” vote is needed for most local measures to pass. A “yes” vote on Measure LA will allot $5.3 billion to the district, which can cost taxpayers between $88 to $157 annually for 25 years. Per the bond description, the money could go towards repairing and or upgrading local community colleges and preparing students for jobs or university transfer.
Four LACCD trustee seats are up for election on the ballot as well. Registered voters will vote on seats two, four, six and seven.
Valley’s voting center will open in the cafeteria on Nov. 1. For more information on where and how to vote, registered voters can visit the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk official website, www.lavote.gov.