MOLAA and other museums transform into polling places this election

The Museum of Latin American Art and other museums in L.A. County have transformed into vote centers ahead of the 2020 election.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- From art museum to polling place.

The Museum of Latin American Art, or MOLAA, in Long Beach has reinvented itself ahead of the 2020 election.

"I think that's one of the ways that COVID-19 has made us reinvent and understand how valuable museums are as places for the community," said MOLAA's Vice President of Content and Programming Solimar Salas.

Indoor museums remain closed in Los Angeles County, but the space, which is normally used for special events, has opened its doors to voters Friday, Oct. 30 through Tuesday, Nov. 3.

"People can vote in person, they can drop off a ballot in an approved ballot box," said Vice President of Development Todd Huestess. "If they haven't registered yet, they can actually register here with the staff that's here."

MOLAA is one of several museums and cultural centers across L.A. County acting as a polling center this election. The list includes Skirball Cultural Center, Ronald Regan Library, Hammer Museum and The Music Center.

The Secretary of State suggested that museums open up their large spaces to voters, so the California Association of Museums made an open call to institutions statewide.

"It was actually a result of getting a call to action from the state," said President of the Board of Directors for the California Association of Museums Jennifer Caballero. "Museums have large gallery spaces and they're known as a very safe and trusted convening space, so it seemed a very logical thing."

MOLAA is utilizing a large space in the back of the museum that has recently been used for blood drives and food giveaways.

"Our expectation is because we have a large event center that has opened airflow, that it'll be safe. There'll be social distance," Huestess said. "It'll be convenient because we have 178 parking spots next to the museum."

The 2020 election marks the first time ever that Hispanics are expected to be the largest minority group eligible to vote at 32 million nationwide.

SEE MORE: Hispanics could be largest minority group to vote at 32M nationwide

"The important thing is just that we need to make our voices heard," Salas said. "We need to understand that it is our right as part of the United States to have a voice and to be able to vote."

Voting center hours at MOLAA are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 through Monday, Nov. 2. On Election Day, hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach.

Follow Rachel on social media:
Facebook.com/abc7rachel
Twitter.com/abc7rachel
Instagram.com/abc7rachel
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.