UC Berkeley to host 2 polling locations for upcoming election

Infographic depicting polling places on the UC Berkeley campus
Jazmine Solorzano/Staff

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Pauley Ballroom and the Lawrence Hall of Science will be the two polling locations open on the UC Berkeley campus for the upcoming election.

With negotiations regarding the locations being in the works since last fall, both will be open for early voting and are accessible per the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Miyako Iwata, director of the ASUC Vote Coalition. The locations will be open Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for early voting, and they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

“Not only are we a centralized resource for students, but we also do a lot of advocacy to push the work forward and bring down barriers to voting,” Iwata said about the ASUC Vote Coalition.

The coalition’s other projects include campaigning to make Election Day a noninstructional holiday, and its leadership was also instrumental in the installation of a ballot drop box on campus.

In an effort to make in-person voting safe, several regulations have been put in place, according to Iwata.

Alameda County will be implementing a service through which voters can check in with their phone numbers and receive a text message when it is their turn to vote, a process that, according to Iwata, will limit large groups and lines. 

Other regulations include early voting, which is also intended to help limit crowds, and the Lawrence Hall of Science location will also serve as a drive-in. Voters registered in Alameda County can also use the ballot drop box in Sproul Plaza.

“We do encourage vote by mail as the No. 1 option, but we also are aware that certain constraints might happen,” Iwata said. “We want the location to be available for early voting and for that voting to be done safely.”

Iwata also emphasized the importance of registering to vote — or updating one’s registration if they have moved — before the online deadline of Oct. 19.

She added that the Alameda County Superior Court will be open on Election Day for same-day voter registration.

“Gen Z and millennials make up the single biggest voting block and the eligible voting block in the United States this year, which is a huge deal,” Iwata said. “I don’t think voting is somehow going to magically fix every single issue that we face right now, but it is a really great first step to get engaged and involved.”

Contact Taylor Rudman at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @TaylorRudman.