Proposal Seeks to Add Alternative Voting Options in L.A.

2013 will be a big year for Los Angeles on the ballot -- two ballots, in fact. Elections are scheduled for March 5 (Primary) and May 21 (General) with half the city council seats up for grabs along with citywide positions, including mayor. Add to that some propositions, like the anticipated sales tax increase, and Angelenos will have plenty to think about. That is, Angelenos who decide to vote will have a lot to think about.

Only between 20 and 25 percent of voters turn out for elections in L.A. County, according to L.A. City Council member Jan Perry, who has introduced a motion aimed at developing alternative voting methods.

"This year, there are several initiatives on the ballot which will have a critical impact on the future of the City of Los Angeles," wrote Perry, who is also running for Mayor. "Given the importance of elections to our communities, we in local government have a responsibility to look at our voter turnout over the years and encourage members of our community to vote." She further noted that county turnout for the recent June Primary was 21.8 percent while other counties had turnout as high as 59 percent.

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Perry is requesting that the City Clerk's office investigate and recommend ways to institute satellite, early, and weekend voting for city elections. The matter is scheduled to be discussed on Wednesday.

Additionally, the L.A. City Clerk's office last week launched L.A. City Votes!, a new voter outreach and education campaign with focused attention on non-English or English proficient speakers. New to next year's ballots are translations for the Hindi, Thai, and Armenian communities; already included are the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese languages.

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