100 Thieves may have closed their doors to their multi-purposed Cash App Compound this year due to COVID-19, but they opened up their parking lot in the off-season as a polling place in the 2020 presidential election. Just before the election, 100 Thieves announced themselves as an official LA County voting center, providing an additional location for the densely populated city. On top of it all, they commissioned a graffiti artist to put up a "Vote" mural on the street-facing side of their exterior, reminding passersby to do their civic duty and vote.
Upon their announcement, I immediately made my plans to vote there. I had a few places in my neighborhood, in West Los Angeles, but the Cash App compound is just a short 20-minute drive from home, and it marked the first time I was able to visit since their open house at the beginning of the year. Upon arriving, I was pleased to find out they had parking available for their voters, and I was pleasantly directed into one of the open spots. Moreso than that, however, I was excited to see there was no line at all. Last March, I waited for more than two hours to vote, and plenty of my friends waited for four or more. And with stories across the country of crowded polling places this election cycle, I was nervous that I'd be in for a long wait.
Instead, I was in and out in a flash. I parked my car and waltzed straight into the large tent they had nestled between their facility and the surrounding hills, right up to the registrar who checked my name and address. I immediately received my ballot and was shuffled to a voting station, and I began the actual process of voting within just three minutes of closing my car door. A couple of minutes later, the machine printed off my ballot, finalizing my votes. I was given a sticker, and I was back at my car, finished.
The whole process, including parking, took less than ten minutes. Even including the drive to and from, it was under an hour. They had ample workers collecting voters and even more ballots for us to use to actually cast our votes. Unlike so many places in LA which have only one or two sign-in stations and four or five voting booths, they had around ten workers assigning ballots and over twenty booths.
I'm not sure if it's just that voting has been handled better in LA this November compared to last March (which I'm not inclined to believe is true), or if it's because 100 Thieves did a great job setting up their system to be efficient, or just because it's their first time as a polling place and people just went to their usual spots instead, but the process felt exactly like it should feel every time. All of that with an added bonus of free parking directly at the polling place was incredible. It's worth noting 100 Thieves and the LA County workers didn't fumble the operations in creating the esports facility a valid polling place for its nearby citizens.
With voting ending on November 3, 100 Thieves updated their mural from "Vote" to "We Voted," and they plan to paint it over after a week or so to restore the building to the flat black front as it has been since January when it opened. All I can hope is that they open up their lot again next voting cycle and that it's as smooth then as it was this November.
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