SACRAMENTO — Lyvon Bell knew some things had changed this election cycle; she just wasn’t sure exactly what.
Bell believed she was only able to vote by mail.
She got her ballot in the mail, as did all Sacramento County voters for the first time this year… but she misunderstood what that meant.
“I didn’t know the ballot centers were still open,” Bell said.
She was right, in part. There are no traditional polling places but the county has transitioned to vote centers. Like the one in Del Paso Heights at the Greater Sacramento Urban league office. Bell happened to be in the building and she couldn’t help but notice all of the signs.
“I didn’t know it was a vote center until I walked in the building and I wouldn’t have walked out until someone actually mentioned what was going on here,” Bell explained.
This is exactly what the Urban League was going for.
“That makes me excited. Under the voters choice act it’s more days it’s more ways. We are making voting more accessible for voters who have 9-5 they have kids they have other obligations,” Darcey Varnedoe said.
The Urban League is hosting one of 78 vote centers in Greater Sacramento County. As of Saturday, all centers will be open for early in person voting through Election Day. This is a first for Sacramento County.
Voters can visit any vote center they want for access to a one stop voting shop. Including traditional voting booths, ballot drop boxes and another new feature this year — touch screen machines.
“They have the feature where it’s black and white, you can change the font to make it accessible to your like so I like [it],” Bell said.
Also, for the first time, voters not currently registered will be able to provisionally register to vote, and cast a provisional ballot on site. These changes though only apply to Sacramento county voters.
FOX40 caught up with Senator Richard Pan as he cast his vote and he said the future of voting in CA may be affected by how the new system fares in Sacramento.
“Is there going to be an effort to standardize voting statewide? I think so but we’re going to see how it works in these counties,” Pan explained.
Sacramento County vote center locations are different than old polling place locations. Voters can also mail in their ballots, or drop them in a drop box. Drop box and vote center locations can be found online or by calling the Sacramento Registrar.