Photos by Clara Harter

Across Santa Monica stores are boarding up and ballots are going in. As the City prepares for the possibility of unrest, here is everything you need to know to navigate Election Day.

There are ten local vote centers that will be open until 8 p.m today. Residents can register to vote, drop off a ballot, or vote in-person at any center.

Polling locations and estimated waiting times can be found at www.locator.lavote.net. Wait times this weekend were at most 15 minutes, but are expected to be longer today.

Residents can also mail in a ballot via USPS today or bring it to a drop-off box by 8 p.m. Drop-off boxes are located by the Santa Monica Main Library, the Montana Branch Library, Virginia Avenue Park, Marine Park and the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Station.

The County had received ballots from 59 percent of Santa Monica’s registered voters as of midday on Monday. National, state, and county election results will be shared at www.results.lavote.net.

The City will release local election results from all votes counted prior to Election Day at 8 p.m. on www.smvote.org, and will update the website continuously as today’s ballots are counted. This website also contains information on candidates for City Council, School Board, Rent Control Board, and College Board.

The SMPD does not have any evidence to suggest there are threats to Santa Monica, but will have an increased police presence across the City today.

“We are closely monitoring regional activities to keep our community safe and to support the election process essential to our democracy. All City departments are engaged to plan for and preempt any potential threats to community safety,” said City spokesperson Constance Farrell.

Storefronts across the City have boarded up their windows in anticipation of civil unrest or criminal activity. Many of these businesses were damaged by the May 31st looting and are not taking any chances on Election Day.

The Santa Monica Police Officers Association has partnered with the Peace Officers Research Association to assist local businesses who wish to board up their storefronts.

“We don’t have any specific intelligence to suggest that we should expect criminal activity associated with the election here in Santa Monica,” said Erika Aklufi, Santa Monica Police Officers Association President. “What we do know is that our business community is still recovering from the vandalism and looting that occurred on May 31st and that they can’t afford to be hit again. Many of them have also indicated that they can’t afford to board up their storefronts and so our officers felt compelled to help,” said Aklufi.

This free service was offered by volunteers from SMPOA, Santa Monica Firefighters, IAFF Local 1109, CT West Construction of Los Angeles and McCarthy Construction of Newport Beach.

Interim Chief of Police Jacqueline Seabrooks will share community updates through SMPD social media. Anyone with information about a potential threat should email smtips@santamonica.gov.

Clara@smdp.com