Fil-Am organizers hope new voting practices in L.A. would push people to cast ballots

LOS ANGELES — In the first 10 days of early voting, about a quarter-million voters cast their in-person ballots on the new machines at vote centers throughout LA county, and close to 575,000 had mailed in their ballots.

Despite the early returns many vote centers saw long lines of voters ready to mark their ballots on the new electronic devices.

From casting ballots, to working the polls, and even hosting the centers, Filipinos welcomed the voting period, especially Grace Barrios, past president of the Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats.

“This is great and we have to thank Alex Padilla as Secretary we’re making it easier for people to vote, unlike other states that are trying to discriminate. We want California to understand that their vote is their voice so we need to make it easier because people are working. We should make it a weekend like South Carolina or a public holiday but now with this voting center we don’t need to, at their time or leisure. It’s our responsibility to vote.”

They also welcomed one of the remaining presidential candidates, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth who held a rally in East Los Angeles on the eve of Super Tuesday.

“I’d like her to be the president I’ll be simple and straight. All I want is a woman in the White House. Put a mother’s instinct in there and take care of all the people in the United States.”

Bernie Sanders, who is leading in California polls, rallied in Los Angeles on Sunday, his second Southern California visit in a 10-day span, while Joe Biden is scheduled for a Tuesday night rally.

But on the local level, Filipinos are also looking to move toward elected offices.

CJ Berina is running for the US Congress in the 30th district, while Godfrey Plata was out canvassing for votes for California’s 53rd state assembly district.

On a more local level, Gina Alexander in Gardena and Jaime Monteclaro of Carson are also hoping to get city council seats in their respective towns.

Many of them pounding the pavement trying to get last-minute votes.

“I’m super focused we knocked at over 14,000 doors on our way to 15,000 we’re still going to be knocking on more doors, half an hour from now and really exciting to talk to people because they’re not used to that.”

Plata also admitted that during his chats with potential voters, a few were still confused about the new election system which eliminates assigned precincts for centers and feature new electronic ballot marking devices.

The polls in Los Angeles will remain open until 8pm, and those who are unregistered can register in person at the polls.

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