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EAC Spotlight: County of Los Angeles, Office of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

from: Jessica Myers on Jun 28, 2012


The Los Angeles Registrar – Recorder/County Clerk’s office was kind enough to invite two EAC staff members to witness the June 5, 2012 Primary Election in LA County. These two EAC staff members had a wonderful visit with everyone at the County office and would like to thank their hosts, especially Dean Logan, Efrain Escobedo and Monica Flores, for taking the time out of one of their busiest days of the year to show us around and answer all of our questions.
As one of those invited EAC staff members, I learned so much about your processes and the obstacles LA County faces - as well as some innovative initiatives and current programs that you are working on - I wanted to share a few of them here. So, without further ado, we hope you enjoy our EAC Spotlight on the County of Los Angeles Office of the Registrar – Recorder/County Clerk. I will refer to the office as LA RR/CC throughout the rest of this blog because the official name is a mouthful to repeat!
Official Poll Monitor Program
LA RR/CC spent many years building relationships with organizations outside the County offices to help with voter outreach and pollworker recruitment. As time went on, they realized that many of these organizations organized poll watchers or fielded calls on Election Day issues. In an effort to “close the loop” and address any issues that usually ended up in a report LA RR/CC would receive weeks after Election Day, LA RR/CC came up with the “Official Poll Monitor” Program.
In addition to the Guide for Poll Watchers, Official Poll Monitors attend a condensed pollworker training program to learn about the voting system and Election Day administration practices. Official Poll Monitors receive a certificate after completing the course and receive a hotline number to contact LA RR/CC on Election Day with any reported issues or concerns, which allows LA RR/CC to address these items immediately.
Voting Systems Assessment Project
The Voting Systems Assessment Project was launched in September 2009 by the LA RR/CC to determine the current and future needs of LA County voters. The goal of this project is to address these needs through modernization of the County’s voting system because the current system and the age of the technology used does not offer the flexibility necessary to accommodate the growing and increasingly diverse voter population in LA County.  
The VSAP process is participatory and includes opportunities for public participation and input from voters, community activists and community organizations. This input is used to drive discussions concerning technology, legal requirements and regulations.
LA RR/CC has a wealth of information on their website and recently released a quarterly report for the 2nd quarter of 2012. This report summarizes the current status of the project, accomplishments, and activities for the quarter.
The project is currently in its second phase, where the goal is to identify the voting system model and technical requirements and identify the procurement and development model. Decisions on funding and implementation are part of the procurement and development model that RR/CC is working on in this phase.
During the first part of this year, VSAP has:
·         Held an Open Design search to gather ideas about improving the voting experience. RR/CC conducted an Open Innovation Challenge and Voter Experience Brainstorming Workshops to facilitate this activity.
·         Initiated the development of a design model to identify design and functional needs of the new system. LA RR/CC applied for a grant from ITIF (as a subgrantee for the funding provided to ITIF from the EAC) and is working with technical experts, academics and the VSAP Advisory Board Committee to meet development goals.
If you have any additional questions please contact Monica Flores, VSAP Project Coordinator at (562) 345-8372 or via email at mflores@rrcc.lacounty.gov. 
One of our favorite things to get a chance to witness was the helicopters delivering ballots for counting to the RR/CC office. RR/CC works with the Sherriff’s office to organize helicopter ballot pick up for each election. The helicopters land at one of a handful of regional collection centers, deliver the bags of ballots to the RR/CC office and return to the regional center to pick up another load. LA RR/CC uses the helicopters to cut down on the time it takes to get the ballots back to the central counting location. During the Primary, the helicopters began to arrive around 9 p.m. and finished about three hours later.  Thank you to LA RR/CC and LA County Sherriff’s officers who allowed us to get close to the action!
For more information on these programs, contact LA County's RR/CC or connect to their office via Twitter @lacountyrrcc.
Increasingly, the EAC hears about all kinds of new and innovative initiatives taking place in state and local election offices. If you are a state or local election official and have implemented new or innovative programs, projects, pilots, etc. – we would love to hear from you, too! Contact Jessica Myers at jmyers@eac.gov or via Twitter (@EACgov).
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6/28/2012 11:53:00 AM
EAC Spotlight: County of Los Angeles, Office of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Increasingly, the EAC hears about all kinds of new and innovative initiatives taking place in state and local election offices.