By: Samuel Petto

Visitors to California’s Staples Center will soon be greeted by more than lines of cheering fans for the latest Lakers game. For the first time in its history, the Staples Center will serve as a vote center in the upcoming November election. It will also be a designated vote by mail drop box location for those who prefer to drop off their mail-in ballot provided by the L.A. County Registrar’s office.

The absentee ballot drop box is an increasingly popular option for voters hoping to cast completed mail-in ballots without using the mail. While some states have successfully used ballot drop boxes for years, the coronavirus pandemic has expanded the practice throughout the United States as election officials express concern about the U.S. Postal Service’s capacity to deliver ballots on time. Although some states still prohibit the use of ballot drop boxes due to the risk of voter fraud, localities across California–from Los Angeles to Sacramento–are preparing for voters to cast ballots in record numbers via this method.

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