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Voter Game Plan: What’s The Deal With Faulty Ballots In Woodland Hills?

There will be roughly 400 ballot drop boxes in L.A. County for the 2020 General Election. Voters can also mail their ballots, no postage required. (Libby Denkmann/LAist)
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Ballots are in the mail for more than 20 million registered voters in California, and some have already begun arriving in mailboxes. One hitch? The county’s Registrar-Recorder confirmed Tuesday that a small number of Los Angeles voters received faulty ballots.

These voters, in a single precinct of about 2,100 voters in the Woodland Hills area, opened their ballots and realized pretty quickly that something was amiss: they didn’t have an option to vote for President of the United States. Instead, they saw some propositions printed twice — clearly a mistake.

L.A. County Registrar spokesman Mike Sanchez said the office is investigating a printing error with one of its vendors:

“We have alerted all affected voters in this precinct of the error by robocall and email, and this morning we will mail out new, corrected ballots with a letter describing the error. We encourage all voters to discard the faulty ballot and fill-out and return the accurate one. If they have already filled out and mailed their original ballot, we will cancel their original ballot once their new ballot is received.”

Missing presidential candidates is a very obvious ballot defect. But it may not be the last we see during this election cycle.
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Once COVID-19 hit, Los Angeles County had to ramp up to print and mail 5.6 million ballots in just a matter of months. They’ve never done this before. In the March primary, about 1.1 million Angelenos cast ballots by mail. This rapid expansion introduces the possibility of errors, including ones that voters don’t catch so easily.

Here’s a tip: sit down with your paper ballot and pull up your sample ballot online, which can be found on your county registrar’s website, or on KPCC + LAist’s Voter Game Plan. That’s a good way to ensure you’re seeing all the races that you should, top-to-bottom.


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