City urges Los Angeles residents to vote in run-off election

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


image In any form of democracy, voting in elections is paramount.

That’s the message Los Angeles’ city clerk June Lagmay had Thursday at a media event promoting next month’s run-off election for two municipal seats in District No.5.

The May 17 election will pit Bennett Kayser and Luis Sanchez for a seat on the district’s board of education and Lydia A. Gutierrez against Scott Svonkin for a seat on the board of trustees.

“The right to vote is precious,” Lagmay said. “We see that more and more as we watch CNN and see those countries that don’t have the ability to vote.”

While she admits positions on boards of education and trustees lack the notoriety of a mayor or council member seat, their role is no less important.

“The school board and the community college districts are those municipal entities that set policy for our kids and for our young people as they pursue their careers,” Lagmay said. “It isn’t any less valid than voting for mayor, city council, city attorney or whatever.”

As has been the case since 2007, there will be three different voting options depending on voter preference: the scan-based InkaVote — which prevents invalid or blank ballots — the audio ballot booth geared toward the visually impaired and those who are not primarily-English Speakers and the vote by mail option — which will require voters to turn their ballots in by May 10.

Lagmay says the vote by mail option is becoming more and more popular despite recent technology.

“What we are noticing is more a trend toward vote by mail and even more impressively folks that wish to be permanently vote by mail voters,” Lagmay said. “So they sign up once and automatically get to vote every time.”

Currently, the city’s election division has 6,200 people signed up to volunteer at precincts for the May 17 election.