LOS ANGELES – Consider this an inside look at democracy.
“It’s a lot of moving parts. It’s a lot of logistics. It’s really scary but I know it will work out,” said Alejandra Alarcon as she packed up thousands of voter surveys. “If today is ‘Super Tuesday,’ you could call this the ‘Ultimate Monday.’”
Alarcon is the project manager for Study LA, the Loyola Marymount University project to run the fastest and most accurate exit poll in Los Angeles County.
“I’m making sure that all our ducks are in a row, that everyone is where they’re supposed to be, that everything goes according to plan,” Alarcon said.
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The project relies on an army of 250 volunteers, who are students that need the class credit. The undergraduates will work a 13-hour day on Tuesday to distribute the surveys across 50 vote centers. The group also monitors nearly 1,000 vote centers, making sure they are set up and functioning properly.
“It’s a huge operation,” Alarcon said.
The surveys have 39 questions ranging from “who did you vote for?” to “how do you rank L.A. County’s new voting system?”
“We have a lot of questions about how their experience was at the vote center,” Alarcon said.
If they do it right, they will have fast, accurate results on Election Day. In 2013, Study LA was the first to call victory for Mayor Eric Garcetti. In 2018, they predicted Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s win before the LA Times.
And there is a feeling 2020 will be one to remember.