A printing error resulted in more than 118,000 names missing from Los Angeles County voter rolls during Tuesday’s primary election, according to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
The registrar’s office is emphasizing that all registered voters who are affected by the error can cast provisional ballots that will be counted, if valid.
A total of 118,522 voters’ names have been excluded, affecting 1,530 of the county’s 4,357 precincts, according to an afternoon statement issued by the office.
“We apologize for the inconvenience and concern this has caused,” said Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan in the statement. “Voters should be assured their vote will be counted.”
— Dean Logan, RR/CC (@LACountyRRCC) June 5, 2018
All poll workers have been told to ensure voters are given a provisional ballot and inform them their votes will be counted, officials said.
Important Election Day Information: If your name does not appear on the roster at your polling place today, do not be alarmed. You will be given a provisional ballot and your vote will count ⬇️ #LAVotes pic.twitter.com/Ad6TBGryIx
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) June 5, 2018
Throughout the day, voters complained to KTLA of problems at the polls.
“I just got back from voting and had to cast a provisional ballot because my name was not on the list at my precinct, even though I had received a sample ballot. My husband’s name was omitted as well,” one voter from Glendale wrote in an email to KTLA. “The poll worker already had a list of about a dozen people whose names weren’t appearing. A dozen people at one precinct by 8:00 a.m.?”
Another voter told KTLA that he, his wife and adult daughter were all excluded from the rolls at their polling place in Arcadia.
“We have been registered voters at the same address for many years and have never failed to vote in an election,” he wrote, saying his neighbors were affected too. “This is completely unacceptable.”
That Arcadia voter said he filed a complaint the California Secretary of State’s office.
Even the Fonz was affected. Actor Henry Winkler, still known for his role in “Happy Days,” tweeted that his name was “left off the polling registry” in L.A.
About 20 minutes before polls closed at 8 p.m., gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, the former L.A. mayor, called for precincts to remain open longer. Villaraigosa made the demand “because of the unprecedented number of voters left off the voter rolls,” he said in a tweet.
I'm calling on @LACountyRRCC to keep the polls open longer because of the unprecedented number of voters left off the voter rolls. You have the right to vote. If you were turned away, return to your polling place & exercise your right to vote by requesting a provisional ballot. pic.twitter.com/hLxVPaa9ML
— Antonio Villaraigosa (@AVillaraigosa) June 6, 2018
Mike Sanchez, a spokesman with the registrar’s office, confirmed the voting problems earlier in the day but said details were unclear.
The office was “still following up on how widespread the issue may be,” Sanchez said at the time.
Provisional ballots were being issued to affected voters under normal procedure, Sanchez said.
A provisional ballot is a normal ballot placed inside of a special envelope before being put into the ballot box, according to the California Secretary of State website. The ballots are counted after an additional verification process that takes place after election day.
A provisional ballot tracker on the L.A. County registrar’s website allows voters to confirm the ballot was cast, Sanchez said.
On average, according to the registrar, 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots are determined to be valid and counted.
There were 5,149,461 people registered to vote in L.A. County as of May 21, according to the state’s latest statistics, meaning about 2.3 percent of voters were affected by Tuesday’s printing error.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Melissa Pamer contributed to this story.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the percentage of registered voters affected. The post has been updated.