Los Angeles County officials voted Tuesday to spend roughly $300 million on a major redesign of its voting system in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, even as an independent consultant investigates a glitch in the existing process that led to nearly 120,000 voters being left off polling place rosters last week. The new system, which has an electronic interface at the polling place but generates a paper ballot for record keeping, is part of a broader update that includes allowing voters to cast a ballot over an 11-day period prior to and including Election Day. The county will also do away with assigning traditional polling places and instead allow voters to drop in at any vote center convenient to them.
Articles about voting issues in California.
California: Los Angeles County officials say entire city blocks were left off voter rolls | LA Daily News
County workers are expediting the count of what is likely to be thousands of provisional ballots Wednesday due to a printing glitch that left nearly 120,000 voters off of Los Angeles Country rolls. A spokesman for the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office said an estimate of the total provisional ballots was expected to be released late this afternoon and the root cause of the error was still being investigated. In the wake of the problem, members of the Board of Supervisors summoned Dean Logan, the county’s registrar-recorder/county clerk, to answer questions during a weekly public hearing. Logan first offered his “regret and apologies that we fell short … I understand the gravity of it,” before assuring the board that there was no issue related to individual voters’ eligibility to vote.
California: 118,522 voters accidentally left off Los Angeles County polling place rosters | Los Angeles Times
If you are a registered voter in Los Angeles County and poll workers say they can’t find your name on the roster at the polling place when you go to vote, don’t worry — you can still cast a provisional ballot. Some Angelenos needed a bit of reassurance that their votes would be counted in Tuesday’s primary election after 118,522 voters’ names were accidentally left off rosters due to a printing error, according to L.A. County Registrar Dean C. Logan. About 2.3% of L.A. County’s 5.1 million registered voters and 35% of the county’s 4,357 precincts were affected by the error, according to figures provided by the registrar-recorder/county clerk’s office, which was still trying to determine the reason for the printing error. Voters whose names are missing are being encouraged to file provisional ballots, which are verified by vote counters later.
California: Facebook Tried to Rein In Fake Ads. It Fell Short in a California Race. | The New York Times
Regina Bateson had just finished an Easter egg hunt with her children on April 1 when her phone started buzzing. Take a look at Facebook, messages from her friends and colleagues urged. Ms. Bateson, a Democrat running for Congress in the California primary on Tuesday, quickly opened up the social network. There, she saw what appeared to be a news article that painted her as underhandedly trying to torpedo the campaign of a rival Democratic candidate. When Ms. Bateson clicked through the article, she was directed to a Facebook page run by Sierra Nevada Revolution, a local progressive group she had clashed with in the past. The article was not a news story, she found, but a political ad paid for by Sierra Nevada Revolution. And while Facebook rolled out new rules on April 6 mandating that campaign ads be clearly labeled and say who had purchased them, Sierra Nevada Revolution’s ad about Ms. Bateson continued to be targeted to local voters throughout that month without any of those disclosures.
Southern California officials are turning to data scientists for help spotting suspicious trends as voters head to the polls in primaries on Tuesday and cyber experts warn that Russia will seek to meddle in this year’s midterm elections. As part of a pilot project, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is shipping some of its data to researchers at the California Institute of Technology through a secure pipeline. They’re developing analytic tools that could help election officials review voting data for irregularities. California is one of eight states holding primaries Tuesday and Orange County alone has nearly 1.5 million registered voters. The aim of the California project is to help local officials pinpoint any “anomalies” in their data, providing “metric-based evaluations” on the integrity of elections, according to Michael Alvarez, a Caltech political science professor. The Caltech team will post its data analysis on an online dashboard.
California: In a handful of California counties, polling places are giving way to a sweeping new election system | Los Angeles Times
The neighborhood polling place, a staple of American elections, has disappeared as election day arrives in five California counties — the first sites to transition to a sweeping new system dependent on absentee ballots and a limited number of all-purpose voting centers. It is a major change, far beyond the tinkering in years past. And when it spreads to California’s most populous cities and communities in 2020, the new system probably will lead to a rethinking of what it means to conduct an election. “Forget everything you know about the voting process and create an all-new one,” said Alice Jarboe, Sacramento County’s interim registrar of voters.
Thinking about voting in the June 5 election but forgot to register? Or maybe you moved and forgot to update your address. Don’t worry. For the first time in a California general election, voters who missed the registration deadline can still vote for sheriff or a favorite candidate for governor — thanks to a new conditional voter registration process. That’s because of state legislation that went into effect in 2017. It’s part of what Secretary of State Alex Padilla called, “a simple way we’re continuing to expand voting rights and opportunities in California.” All would-be voters need to do is fill out a same-day registration card and cast their ballots on or before Election Day.
California: Fate of Judge Persky, symbol within #MeToo movement, heads to voters | San Francisco Chronicle
No California judge has been recalled from office since 1932, when Los Angeles voters removed three Superior Court judges accused of taking kickbacks. None has been recalled because of an unpopular ruling since 1913, when San Franciscans ousted a judge who had set a low bail for a man charged with sexual assault. But history may not provide much shelter for Aaron Persky, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge who faces a June 5 recall vote primarily because of a single decision: the six-month sentence he issued two years ago to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, convicted of attempted rape and two other felonies for sexually penetrating a drunk and unconscious woman outside a fraternity party in January 2015. Furor over the sentencing spread nationwide, fueled by a heart-wrenching courtroom statement from Turner’s victim and the widespread view that Persky, swayed by his own background as a former Stanford athlete, had let Turner off far too lightly.
California: More Santa Clara County voters discovering by surprise they are not registered | The San Jose Mercury News
Since Santa Clara County elections officials last week admitted accidentally deleting a voter’s registration, several other residents have reported that they too were quietly dropped from the voter rolls without their knowledge. Santa Clara County elections officials could not say Tuesday what happened in those other cases, but they and officials in other counties urged voters who haven’t received a mail-in ballot or voter guide to not despair. Even though the deadline to register for the June 5 primary was Monday, elections officials said voters may still be able to vote provisionally if their registration was canceled by mistake. “Our office is here to assist voters so we ask those with questions to please contact us,” said Eric Kurhi, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.
In a declaration that may force Santa Clara to deal with long-standing complaints about equal representation on the City Council, a judge on Tuesday said the city’s current election system isn’t fair to minority voters. Superior Court Judge Thomas Kuhnle leaned in favor of the group of Asian Americans who sued Santa Clara last year claiming the city’s at-large election system discriminates against Asian Americans by diluting their vote. “Based on the evidence presented at trial, the court finds that plaintiffs have proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the at-large method of election used by the city impairs the ability of Asians to elect candidates as a result of the dilution and abridgment of their rights as voters,” wrote Kuhnle in a proposed statement of decision Tuesday. “Having found the City liable for violating the [California Voting Rights Act], this action will now proceed to the remedies phase.”