Questions Mount Over Election Day Voter Glitch

State and local leaders are demanding answers as to why 118,000 people were left off voting rosters in L.A. County on election day.

Both the Board of Supervisors and Secretary of State Alex Padilla have called for an independent investigation into the matter. L.A. County Registrar of Voters Dean Logan has reached out to the county’s chief information officer and auditor-controller for a review.

As County News reported Wednesday, 118,522 L.A. County voters showed up to the polls Tuesday to find that their names weren’t on the list of registered voters. The issue affected 2.3% of eligible voters in the county and 35% of polling locations.

Logan has yet to fully explain what led to the glitch.

“It was a data issue and it is a system issue that absolutely needs to be resolved,” he told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday. He added that voters who were not on the rolls were given provisional ballots instead.

But a number of voters who were affected say it was like pulling teeth to get a provisional ballot. That has left county officials wondering how many people gave up and decided not to vote at all.

Padilla has since sent a letter to Logan seeking more information, including which precincts were affected. He wants Logan to let the voters know whether their provisional ballots were counted.

Just as questions over L.A. County’s glitch were swirling, news broke that at least five other counties suffered similar problems on a much smaller scale.

KPCC has confirmed election officials at five additional counties in California know of active registered voters whose names were missing from printed poll rosters on Tuesday. Those counties include Inyo, Kings, Ventura, Sonoma and Yuba. Election officials at several other counties have told KPCC they did not experience problems. The number of names in Inyo, Kings, Sonoma and Yuba counties are small: so far fewer than a dozen registered voters whose names should have appeared on the rosters are known to have been missing in error.

Inyo County Clerk/Recorder Kammi Foote now believes the problem is linked to the state's launch of the automated voter registration program. Alex Padilla rejected that assertion in a letter Friday, essentially blaming the county instead.

Inyo’s issue “is not related to the Los Angeles County printing error, nor is it related to the DMV and the new California Motor Voter Program,” Padilla said. “We have identified areas where process and procedures were not followed by the county office and have offered to work with Inyo County to further enhance their training.”

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain: voters need answers.


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