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Council District 15: Voting now underway

December 20, 2011 | 12:24 pm

Allen J. Schaben
Jan. 17 is election day in the runoff to fill the vacancy in Los Angeles' 15th Council District. But voters in Watts, Harbor Gateway, Harbor City, Wilmington and San Pedro may, theoretically, be marking and mailing in their ballots right now.

The Los Angeles City Clerk's Office began mailing official sample ballots to district voters Friday. The vote-by-mail applications included in those materials can be completed and submitted to the clerk's Election Division -- 555 Ramirez Street, Space 300, Los Angeles 90012 -- beginning yesterday and running through the end of the business day Jan. 10. Ballots are then mailed to voters and have to be received back by the Election Division by 8 p.m. on election day.

Many people still refer to voting by mail as voting "absentee." But in the old days the voter had to actually certify that he or she was going to be out of town in order to qualify for a mail ballot. Now anyone can do it.

A one-district special election makes for a relatively easy entry for the city's new elections chief, Jacob Wexler. Wexler began work last week after succeeding Arleen P. Taylor, who became executive officer of the Board of Public Works. 

You can still vote old-school: At the garages, churches, basements and other places around the 15th District that on Jan. 17 will become polling places.

Of course you will want to wait a few days to see how The Times endorses before making your decision. Assemblyman Warren Furutani and LAPD officer Joe Buscaino are vying to succeed Janice Hahn in the special runoff. The Times will deliver a present to one, and a lump of coal to the other, toward the end of the Christmas weekend.

Yes, we know the photo above depicts county vote-by-mail ballots, not city ballots. Sorry, Mr. Wexler.


CD 15: About the district

CD 15: Questions, and frustration

CD 15: Endorsements and the Jan. 17 runoff

--Robert Greene

Photo: Los Angeles County vote-by-mail ballots are sorted in Norwalk during the November 2010 election. Credit: Allen J. Schaben

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