Long Beach City Clerk
Get Out the Long Beach Vote: City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia
This is the first Long Beach Election administered by City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia since taking over the job last August. A city resident, she knows the challenges to get people to vote. During the last general city election in 2014, only 20.77% of registered voters cast a ballot. That’s 53,336 of 256,735 registered voters.
PalacioMagazine.com recently interviewed City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia in her City Hall office. Our first question was “Why don’t People Vote.”
“People vote because they’re able to relate to a candidate or an issue that is appearing on the ballot,” explained De La Luz Garcia.
She elaborated that when they’re a personal appeal, a personal connection to a candidate or to a ballot measure, voters will vote. But City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia also added, “People also don’t vote because there’s no invitation from a candidate or other organizations giving them reasons to go out and vote.”
PalacioMagazine.com and the political sciences classes of CSULB Professor Som Chounlamountry have been surveying Long Beach voters about their voting habits. One of questions deals with why people don’t vote. The reasons are well known. It’s too hard to vote. They don’t know the issues. All politicians are the same. My vote doesn’t count. We asked the City Clerk what her best arguments against that kind of thinking.
“You can’t make people vote.” But De La Luz Garcia explained that she can do something about giving people the information they need to make informed decisions. “We mail an official sample ballot.” The City Clerk’s office provides a host of options for people to vote. There’s early voting. You can vote by mail and vote in person at City Hall through Election Day.
“And we outreach to the community to remind them about Election Day,” De La Luz Garcia added.
“The way to get people to vote is by getting them engaged at an early age.”
City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia described how that engagement begins when you’re in school. The City Clerk’s office is partnering with local schools to do mock elections. “Begin the habit of participating early.”
De La Luz Garcia emphasized, “What we can do as a community is make sure that we’re focusing on training our young people to be involved in democracy, to be involved in their neighborhoods.”
The process of engagement, information and voting couldn’t be easier. You can vote by mail or in person now through Election Day at the City clerk’s office in City Hall. On Election Day, if you’re worried about finding polling station, you can go online and locate it. Up will pop up your polling station and your sample ballot. And of course, there’s an app for that.
The VOTE Long Beach app is designed to provide registered voters of Long Beach the opportunity to access City of Long Beach Election Information, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere. iPhone and Android device users can simply open the App to quickly locate a Long Beach polling place and view their sample ballot. You will be able to request and track a Vote by Mail ballot as well as receive instant Election results at your finger tips. Getting involved in the Long Beach Election process has never been easier.
For more information about the elections and voting, visit the Office of City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia HERE.
Ever wonder what else the City Clerk Maria De La Luz Garcia’s office does? This is their mission statement
The Office of the City Clerk is committed to pursuing excellence through professionalism, transparency, and accountability by following these guiding principles:
- Provision of accessible legislative services to all, including the obligation to inform and notify the public;
- Conducting all elections in an efficient and accurate manner and as mandated by law;
- Recording and maintaining official City government documents in a manner that promotes security and ease of retrieval;
- Promote and enable civic engagement through partnerships with the Mayor and City Council, community organizations, and schools.