LOS ANGELES – March 4, 2020. With 15 of 58 counties opting into the Voter’s Choice Act in California during this Presidential Primary Election, Common Cause poll monitors witnessed Super Tuesday ending with long lines at Los Angeles county vote centers and some operational issues across the state.
While voters supported the extended 10-day early voting period, most waited until Election Day to cast their ballots in person. Voters also said the new touchscreen ballot marking devices were easy-to-use, but they also created paper jams and confusion as poll workers and voters adjusted to the new technology.
This was the first election to replace 4,500 polling stations with 1000 vote centers. Although the vote centers are designed to give voters more choice by offering early voting and same-day registration, these requests caused some delays. Some Election Day voters who showed up after work also waited hours after 8pm when the voting lines closed.
Statement of Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause
“We have seen some issues across the state as counties are implementing new voting systems, including electronic poll books and vote centers. So, we expected some hiccups as new systems were implemented.
We have seen the Secretary of State’s voter registration database go down yesterday, which resulted in at least 15 counties reporting problems with accessing the voter registration database. Fresno County, which has a significant Latino population, was impacted so much by this that many vote centers were essentially shut down for a few hours and in some cases told voters to leave.
Our response has been that poll workers should be giving everyone the opportunity to vote provisionally, which is what was done at several vote centers in Los Angeles County.
LA County also had issues with the electronic poll books loading slowly. This added delays to the vote centers and forced some voters to vote provisionally.
We must remember that many of these problems are because people are showing up and using California’s good pro-voter laws that expand access to the ballot box, like same day voter registration. Making sure every eligible voter can cast their ballot is our goal and we believe we are working well to meet that goal.”
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