California: Los Angeles County Urged to Improve Voter Experience by November Election | Nathan Solis/Courthouse News
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has asked Los Angeles County to mail out ballots to its 5.5 million voters after a disastrous rollout of the county’s $300 million voting system Tuesday in which some voters were greeted with downed computer terminals and wait times bordering on four hours. In addition to asking LA County to mail out ballots for the November election, Padilla offered other recommendations Thursday including increased equipment at vote centers as well as more staff that is better coordinated and trained. “With only eight months until the November General Election, it is critical that these issues are addressed in a timely and efficient manner,” Padilla said.The March 3 primary was the first election in which voters used LA County’s new $300 million electronic voting system. Voters should have been greeted by polling place staff with touchscreen tablets who would then direct citizens to a nearly paperless voting machine. Vote centers throughout LA County were open for 11 days before Super Tuesday and voters were not restricted to a center near their home. Unlike in previous years where more than 4,500 polling places were open throughout the county, this election saw about 1,000 open vote centers. Meanwhile, the county is one of just 14 counties participating in the Voter’s Choice Act which gives greater flexibility to local election offices for early voting, but the county does not mail every registered voter a ballot.