The Mar Vista Neighborhood Council, commonly referred to as the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), is holding its next election on June 8, 2021, and this year all ballots will be Vote-by-Mail only. However, unlike other recent California elections, you will not be automatically mailed a ballot. You have to request a ballot – and the deadline to do that is June 1st.
There are two ways to request a ballot for the Neighborhood Council elections. You can register an account online with the LA City Clerk’s Office and complete an application there, or you can fill out a paper application and send it to the City Clerk’s Office, either by mail, fax, or email. You’ll find detailed information on both ways to do it in this article.
Who Can Vote in the Neighborhood Council Elections?
There are 99 Neighborhood Councils within the City of Los Angeles, and each one has slightly different rules about who can vote, but the general idea is that each neighborhood allows stakeholders in that neighborhood to vote. So it’s a matter of who is defined as a stakeholder and who isn’t.
The Mar Vista Community Council‘s rules state that a stakeholder is anyone over the age of 16 who lives, works, owns property, or claims a community interest in Mar Vista, as defined by the boundaries you can find on this map. Is this you? Then read on. This map will also show you what MVCC Zone you claim, which you’ll need to know as you register.
How to Request a Ballot for the MVCC Election ONLINE
You’ll start by clicking over to the Empower LA website, the section on Elections. (Empower LA is the City Department that oversees the Neighborhood Councils.) There’s more information here as well, like about the candidates, so it’s a good idea to bookmark it. From here, you’ll scroll down to find the button that says “Request Your Ballot,” under the “Get Your Ballot” section, and click on it.
Once you click on the button, you’ll be taken to another page with information about voting, but now it’s on the LA City Clerk’s Neighborhood Council Elections website. Lots of information here, including a link to Youtube videos explaining the process. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a section in green with “How to Apply for Vote-by-Mail (VBM) Ballot.” Click on the link that says “VBM Application (Portal)”.
After you click on the VBM Application (Portal) link, you’ll be taken to the 2021 Neighborhood Council Vote-by-Mail Portal Voter Login page, but you most likely don’t have an account yet or you wouldn’t need this article – so instead choose to use the part that says “Create New Account.”
Once you choose Create New Account, you’ll be taken to this first account creation page and asked to begin filling in your information.
The registration requires you to fill in your name and email address. You’ll then receive an email that asks you to confirm your account creation. Click on that to confirm, and then you’ll be taken back to a page that asks you to create a Password. Once you’ve created a password, you’ll be directed back to the log in page, where you must log in to begin the actual vote-by-mail application.
Yes, I agree – this is already a lot of steps to take in my opinion, but this is the process if you want to apply Online. Let’s keep going!
OK, once you log in to the account you’ve just created, you’ll see a button labeled “Create Voter Application”. Click on that and you’ll be asked to supply more information about yourself, like your name again, your telephone number, date of birth, and contact preference. Note that entering your phone number is optional.
After this section is completed, and you click “Next,” you’ll be taken to the Stakeholder info section.
At this point, you need to know what MVCC Zone you either live in, own property in, work in, or are claiming a community interest in – because you have to choose a ballot based on that designation. Take a moment to decide which Zone is yours, and select the appropriate ballot.
Also, please note that when you are selecting which Stakeholder type you are from the choices in the screenshot above, you will need to provide an address for each. And you will have to provide a mailing address for the ballot as well. After filling out this information section, you will see a pop-up box asking you to agree that you are providing correct information under penalty of perjury. Click and move on.
The final step in the process requires documentation to establish your Stakeholder status. You’ll need to upload scanned images/pdfs of the documents or you can take a picture of your documents.
What Document Types are Accepted as Proof of MVCC Stakeholder Status?
Here’s a list of document types that are accepted as proof of stakeholder status include a CA Driver’s License or CA Identification Card, Property Deed, Work ID, Student ID, Renter’s Insurance, Business License, and many others. Each type of Stakeholder must provide different types of documentation.
If you claim stakeholder status because you Live in Mar Vista, you can provide a copy of your CA Driver’s License or CA ID Card, which will show proof of name and age, as long as it reflects the same name and address you used in the voter application.
If you are a Mar Vista Renter, you’ll need to provide proof of identity as well as proof of your renter status, which would include documents like a Residential Lease or Agreement, Rent Receipt, Renter’s Insurance, or a Letter from your Landlord.
If you work in Mar Vista, you’ll need to provide proof if identity as well as proof of your employment, with documents like a Pay Check Stub, Business Card, or W2.
If you own a Business in Mar Vista, you can show documents like a Business Tax Registration Certificate (BTRC), or a Letter from the Chamber of Commerce.
If you are a member of a Community Organization, like a church, you’ll be asked to provide a Letter from the Organization.
Finally (and I do mean finally), after you upload your documents, you click SUBMIT, and you’ll be done. You may log back in anytime to update your application.
If you have any questions, you may contact the City Clerk’s Office by phone at (213) 978-0444, (888) 873-1000, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot on Paper
If you prefer to use paper and not create an online account, you can use the Vote By Mail Application attached here. You’ll fill it out, noting your Stakeholder status, name, address, etc. And then you’ll need to attach copies of your supporting documentation (see above).
NOTE: click to download this as a pdf for printing at home.
You can return the application by mail, fax or email. The Mailing address is:
Office of the City Clerk – Election Division
555 Ramirez Street, Space 300
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Email address is: email@example.com
And the Fax number is: (213) 978-0376
No matter how you choose to get your ballot, please get yours soon! Election Day is June 8, 2021.