Voters eager to cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 election had the chance to do so in person, as early voting centers in Long Beach opened their doors Saturday morning.
Although the options to vote by mail or drop off ballots have been available, some voters, such as LaTanya DeVille, found it best to vote in person.
“I didn’t feel comfortable mailing in,” she said as she stepped out of a voting center in upper West Long Beach. Voting in person, DeVille said, “is just easier.”
At the Carmelitos Housing vote center, poll workers had difficulty at first to prepare the voting area, and a worker notified the waiting handful of voters that there could be delays. However, the station was quickly allowing people inside to vote a few minutes after 10 a.m.—when vote centers were scheduled to open.
In the meantime, voter Halim Bey took a seat while waiting in line. Bey, a Black man, said he was compelled to come vote in person because after centuries of disenfranchisement of Black individuals, he was glad he could participate in an election.
“My ancestors paid a heavy price for me to sit here—a lot of blood was spilt so that I could express my political opinion,” he said.
With presidential, state and local races and legislation to decide on, voters also entered polling centers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Poll workers cleaned and disinfected voting machines after each use before allowing a new voter to use them.
At the Long Beach Convention Center voting poll, local residents Rendy Tejada and Wing Zhoa said their voting experience during a pandemic wasn’t that different from other elections. However, Tejada said they prepared more this time around than for previous elections. When they entered to vote, workers gave them gloves to use while casting their ballots on the digital voting machine. Disinfecting soap and wipes were also available.
For more information on Long Beach vote centers click here.