Los Angeles County’s election software was unable to process a formatting change in state voter data, contributing to 118,500 names being omitted from eligible-voter rosters on election day in June, according to an executive summary of an independent review released Wednesday. There was no evidence of a security breach, the summary said. The county paid IBM Security Services $230,000 to investigate the foul-up, which officials said affected roughly 2.3% of registered voters across the county and 35% of voting locations. L.A. County elections chief Dean Logan said in June that the problem had no impact on voter eligibility and that poll workers were instructed on election day to give provisional ballots to people whose names did not appear on rosters. But the omissions prompted elected officials and civil rights groups to demand that the county review its election process.
IBM recommended that the county update its software code so the state and local voter databases are compatible. It also recommended “new quality control practices” for L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk staff.
The county said Wednesday that measures are in place to make sure that voter rosters are correctly printed for the Nov. 6 election.
County officials declined to release IBM’s full report, citing security and legal concerns.
“This was a sensitive, multifaceted investigation commissioned by County Counsel,” county spokeswoman Lennie LaGuire said in an email. “The county needed to analyze legal rights and remedies related to these events. The review also included a deep cybersecurity forensics analysis of the systems involved in the events that contain extremely sensitive information.”