Newly opened vote centers experience morning lines and hundreds of voters

Hundreds of additional vote centers opened their doors across LA County Friday, with around two dozen now open for early voting in Long Beach. Eight locations opened last Saturday in the city.

For those that opened for the first time today, numerous reported lines—some dozens of people long—prior to opening at 10 a.m.

Frank Enriquez, a polling center lead at Houghton Park, said residents lined up outside the community center this morning, noting that around 300 voters had already cast their ballots by 1 p.m.

“It was busy in the morning, but it has died down since,” Enriquez said. “It’s been pretty smooth so far, just a couple of voters needed some help on the new voting system.”

Residents wait in line outside Bay Shore Community Congregational Church to cast their votes early. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Some centers, including the Jordan High School and Pan American Park locations, reported minor technological glitches. However, with each center having an onsite technician, the issues were quickly sorted out and had little impact.

For the centers that had been open since Saturday, the flow of voters was slow today. A poll worker at the International City Masonic Center said they experienced lines on their first day but have since had a slow but consistent trickle of voters.

Nearly one-third of Long Beach voters had already cast their ballots as of Wednesday, according to the City Clerk. Despite the number of residents voting early, city officials expect a historic voter turnout on Election Day.

Poll Worker Fred M. assists a senior voter at Houghton Park Community Center. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A resident casts their ballot early at the Houghton Park Community Center in North Long Beach. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Poll worker Jeong Min Rhee wipes down a voting machine directly after a resident casts their ballot at Bay Shore Community Congregational Church in Belmont Shore. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Voters cast their ballots early in person at Bay Shore Community Congregational Church. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Early voters cast their ballots at Bay Shore Community Congregational Church. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.