Next Tuesday, some 1.5 million ballots will be cast in L.A. County. Some 20,000 workers will oversee 5,000 polling places.

But about 80,000 people will be forced to mail their ballots or stop by a polling place outside their area if they wish to vote. The L.A. County RegistrarRecorder‘s Office says residents in some 343 precincts do not have enough registered voters to warrant a polling place of their own.

By county rules, precincts must have at least 250 registered voters to be assured of a polling place, said spokeswoman Grace Chavez. ”Oftentimes the registration figure is below, and therefore we declare it an absent-voter precinct,“ Chavez said.

But there is hope for those who are unhappy with their forced absentee-voter status. In future elections, Chavez said they can create their own polling place by finding at least four people willing to work from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

By the way, if you vote absentee, think ahead. ”If they put it in the mail on Election Day, it won’t reach us in time,“ Chavez said.

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