Management of Voting System Called Into Question

Secretary of State Alex Padilla says Los Angeles County should mail ballots to its 5.5 million registered voters at least 29 days ahead of the November general election to avoid the lengthy delays that plagued polling places during the March 3 primary. Voters in some areas reported waiting in line for several hours to cast their votes.

California law exempted Los Angeles County from mailing ballots to all registered voters because, historically, the county has had some of the lowest vote-by-mail participation in the state.

In a letter to County Registrar Dean Logan, Padilla said he has “deep concerns” about how the county handled the election. Los Angeles County rolled out a new $300 million voting system after machines were verified for use by the state. Many of those machines failed, and other issues at polling places led to long waits.

In addition to new voting machines aimed to help those with disabilities, the county decreased the number of polling locations in favor of fewer, but larger polling centers.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked Logan for a report on why so many people had trouble voting. Logan said the report will include an assessment of mailing ballots to all registered voters ahead of election day.

“The logistics and capacity for election administration in Los Angeles County are complex and demanding,” Logan said. “Significant efforts were made – and must be made going forward – to ensure greater access.” (Source: The Associated Press, March 5.)

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