LOS ANGELES — Various new and unique venues were converted into voting centers for the 2020 Election. Some offer a boutique experience like Hotel Figueroa.
This is where the iconic “I voted” sticker got a makeover this year. Hotel Figueroa General Manager, Connie Wang, explains the meaning behind the new design specific to the hotel.
“The yellow rose and purple sash are what the suffragettes wore in the 1920s,” said Wang.
The design was created to honor the trailblazers who fought for the women’s right to vote exactly 100 years ago. Wang said the hotel’s history runs deep with the female founders offering a safe place for female travelers to stay.
“They wanted to create a space that they felt comfortable in, and so we honor their legacy today by bringing that comfort to the modern day by having voters come and feel our hospitality,” said Wang.
It was only fitting to turn Hotel Figueroa into a voting site in this historic year. Their beautiful ballroom now houses polling booths. Wang thought it was important to make voting easier and more convenient, as more people are voting early. With Staples Center as a polling location just next door, Wang said this is just an extra place for Angelenos to go.
“It’s important in our democracy to be as engaged as possible. Voter turnout is an important piece of being part of our community. We wanted to support that any way we could,” she said.
Just a day before early voting at the hotel opened, two poll workers put the finishing touches on the space. Wang explained how this will be a safe, comfortable, and clean center, with coronavirus on everyone’s mind as well as the election.
“As a hotel and a hospitality business during this time, providing those extra details to make people feel comfortable,” she added.
Once voting opened in this unique environment, we spoke with voter Jayantha Thiyanaratnam, who took his mask off for the interview. He lives right down the block and said this was much more convenient than in years past.
“I typically have to walk a few blocks and wait up to an hour for a presidential election. This couldn’t be easier. I think they should do this for every election,” said Thiyanaratnam.
He said it was a quick and clean experience, especially since he believes it is more important than ever to have your voice heard this year.
“This is the most important election of our lifetime, so I think it is good and smart to vote early,” said Thiyanaratnam.
Hotel Figueroa is just one example of the many new polling locations seen this year to help increase voter turnout and engagement within the community.