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'The Public Has Lost Confidence.' LA Supes Criticize Registrar Over Voting Problems

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L.A. County’s elections chief appeared before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to face scorching criticism over problems voters encountered during the March 3 primary election.

The catalog of issues included:

  • Lines over 3 hours long at some vote centers
  • Technical problems with check-in system and ballot marking devices
  • At least 17,000 ballots not sent to vote-by-mail voters
  • Several cities and precincts missing Measure FD
  • Poll workers working 12-18 hours with no break
  • Insufficient training for poll workers
  • Not all vote centers supplied with paper ballots
  • Problems with a county "hotline" meant to help staffing issues

“I'm sorry to say I've lost confidence and I know the public has lost confidence,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said. “We have to figure out how to fix this and to restore confidence...before November.”
The Board passed a motion requiring L.A. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan to report back in 45 days with fixes for the November 2020 election.

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The county will also explore sending every registered voter in L.A. County a vote-by-mail ballot, like other Voter’s Choice Act counties do, per an amendment put forward by Supervisor Hilda Solis. Secretary of State Alex Padilla called on Los Angeles to do just that last week.

The Supervisor’s motion additionally requires the county hire an independent consultant to review election day problems and the county’s action plan going forward. That consultant will "monitor and assist" Logan during the November election.

Repeating his election night apology to voters, Logan also defended the county’s new technology and vote center model.

"The implementation…and the capacity to deliver on that solid model was lacking," Logan said. "I don't think the answer is to give up on this, I think the answer is to get it right."

"For many voters, it was a good experience,” he added.