Sac State vote center will begin operating Saturday

Voters can cast their ballots until Tuesday at 8 p.m.


Eucario Calderon

A poll worker assists a voter at the vote center in Modoc Hall Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Assemblymember Ash Kalra credited Sac State for providing a real-world example for the recently signed Assembly Bill 59, which prioritizes the placement of voting centers on college campuses.

Cory Jaynes

With the 2020 California primary happening Tuesday, Sacramento State will once again host a vote center on campus in Modoc Hall from Saturday to Election Day on March 3.

First adopted by Sacramento County in 2018, vote centers are a provision of the Voter’s Choice Act that allows Sacramento County residents to vote, drop off a mail-in ballot or register at any available location. James Schwab, California deputy secretary of state, told The State Hornet in 2018 that the Voter’s Choice Act was enacted to provide greater accessibility to elections.

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“The goal of the Voter’s Choice Act is to modernize elections and make sure that elections and the way they are run fit into modern lives,” Schwab said last year. “That’s giving voters more choices and options for how, when and where they can cast their ballot.”

The vote center also provides accessible voting machines and ballots in different languages and can supply voters with replacement ballots if their ballot gets lost in the mail.

The Modoc Hall vote center will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Monday and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m Tuesday. Voters in line at 8 p.m. will still be allowed to cast their ballots on Election Day, according to the Sacramento County website

Savannah Mendoza, the civic engagement coordinator with Associated Students, Inc. said that ASI has coordinated with UTAPS to promote the use of the Hornet Shuttle Stinger Line to transport students from the center of campus to the Modoc Hall vote center on College Town Drive. Mendoza said the golf carts used during the 2018 election will not make a return.

“We’re also producing a voter information packet which will break down the election for students,” Mendoza said, adding that the packet will focus on how the election can affect students. “We’ll be sharing them on social media, providing a QR code where students can just access the guide online and then hopefully be sharing that out.”

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Anthony Maalouf, an economics major, said he believes the campus vote center is an overall benefit but might not help students from outside of Sacramento.

“A lot of students are going to be here, a lot of their ballots might have already been mailed somewhere else in California,” Maalouf said. “So it might be hard for them to get them, especially if they’re from L.A. County in their freshman year or first year.”

After Sac State hosted the first vote center on a college campus in 2018, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 59, which prioritizes the placement of vote centers on college campuses. In 2020, nine vote centers will be placed on CSU campuses for Tuesday’s primary, according to the CSU.

RELATED: Sac State vote center provides real-world example for new California election law

Though the deadline to register to vote for the primary was Feb. 18, California residents can still register and cast a provisional ballot at the vote center or online.