Orange County is implementing new ways to vote, beginning with the March 3 Presidential Primary.
By Ann Frances
The Orange County Registrar of Voters, in an effort to make voting more accessible to all, has replaced the traditional “precinct” polling locations with new “Vote Centers” beginning with the March 3 Presidential Primary. The previous 1,200 precinct locations in Orange County have been replace by 188 Vote Centers, 16 of which are located in Irvine. Some will be open Feb. 29, four days prior to the March 3 election. Others will be open Feb. 22, a full 11 days before the election.
There are more changes in play, including how voters will cast their ballots. All registered voters in the county will receive a vote-by-mail ballot this year. In the past, voters had to register to receive an absentee ballot which allowed them to mail in their ballot. Now, every registered voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
There are now three ways to cast your ballot.
Vote Centers: Voters can cast their ballots at any Orange County Vote Center regardless of where they are registered in the county. If you work in Irvine, for example, you no longer have to cast your ballot in Irvine. You can drop it off, say, in Newport Beach if that is more convenient for you. Voters can also register to vote, request a replacement ballot, get help in multiple languages, and vote with an accessible voting machine at a Vote Center. Vote Centers will be open as early as February 22.
Ballot Drop Boxes: Voters can also securely drop off their ballots at any of the 188 Ballot Drop Box locations throughout Orange County now through Election Day. There are seven Ballot Drop Box locations in Irvine.
By Mail: Voters can mail in their ballots; no stamp required.
Eleven-Day Vote Centers – Opening February 22
- Irvine City Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza
- Portola Springs Community Center, 900 Tomato Springs
- Quail Hill Community Center, 39 Shady Canyon Drive
Four-Day Vote Centers – Opening February 29
- CSUF Irvine Center, 3 Banting
- Deerfield Community Center, 55 Deerwood West
- Heritage Park Regional Library, 14361 Yale
- Irvine Valley College, 5500 Irvine Center Drive
- Lakeview Senior Center, 20 Lake Road
- Las Lomas Community Center, 10 Federation Way
- Los Olivos Community Center, 101 Alfonso Drive
- Northwood Community Center, 4531 Bryan Ave.
- Orange County Great Park, 8000 Great Park Blvd.
- South Coast Chinese Cultural Center, 9 Truman Street
- UCI – Mesa Court, 4053 Mesa Road
- University Community Center, 1 Beech Tree Lane
- University Hills Community Center, 1083 California Ave.
For general election information, visit ocvote.com or call the City of Irvine Election Hotline at 949-724-6159.