Voting by mail encouraged for Tuesday's election in Santa Clarita-based 25th congressional district

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- Voting in person during a pandemic isn't recommended. Both the Democrat and Republican in the special election to fill Katie Hill's congressional seat in the Santa Clarita area are encouraging the public to vote by mail.

Republican Mike Garcia, a former navy pilot, is running against Democratic Assembly member Christy Smith.

"Through the wonderful thoughtfulness of our Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Governor Newsom, this is an all vote-by-mail ballot if people choose," Smith said. "So everyone received a ballot in the mail and can fill it out, drop it in the mail if they choose. But there will also be vote centers. Very grateful to hear that Los Angeles County is expanding to another vote center location."

That new vote center is located at the National Soccer Center in Lancaster.

The LA County Democratic Party claims they led the effort, but the LA County Registrar's office says the voting center was added at the request of the Republican mayor of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris, who tells Eyewitness News he's a big Mike Garcia supporter and has donated to his campaign.

"I had no idea that this was a partisan issue," Parris said. "It was Palmdale had two and hell, I want one. I just kind of thought we were being slighted."

Garcia has said Smith is trying to steal the election. President Trump tweeted it's rigged because of the new Lancaster location, but there's no proof of that.

ABC7 tried to interview Garcia, an executive at Raytheon and Santa Clarita native, but we were told he wasn't available.

Smith, who has lived in Santa Clarita for 37 years, says she hopes to keep the purple district in the hands of Democrats and believes we need a proven leader to get us through COVID-19.

"The inherent risk of opening up too quickly is that we're right back on that upward trajectory with the infection rate which then taxes our public health system and so I would say we are on the right path," said Smith.

Seven in-person voting locations will be open on Election Day and as long as you mail in your ballot by Tuesday, May 12, your vote will count.
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