Voters from across the political spectrum expressed frustration and dismay as they reported having trouble casting a ballot at a Woodland Hills vote center in Tuesday’s recall election, though a county elections official said the problem had been addressed.
Several voters from both the Republican and Democratic parties said they tried to drop off vote-by-mail ballots or vote in person at the Disabled American Veterans 73 vote center on Tuesday, only to be told they had already voted.
As a result, they were offered provisional ballots, which are counted after registered voters who cast them are confirmed not to have already voted. Nonetheless, some voters were unhappy with the situation.
“I wasn’t born yesterday,” said Kenneth Blake, who was among those told by poll workers that he had already cast a ballot. “Common sense tells me that the system is still rigged and they do not want the American people to have the honest vote for themselves.”
A woman who identified herself only as Brenda told KTLA that not only did she experience a problem at the Woodland Hills location on Tuesday, she has also run into issues in past elections.
Asked if she felt like giving up, Brenda said, “It really does. I feel so left behind and so wiped away.”
The trouble at the Disabled American Veterans center began Saturday and stemmed from a major glitch with some electronic devices that are used to check in registered voters.
The problem, which also occurred at a different Woodland Hills vote center over the weekend, was described by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office as an “equipment issue.”
“The Registrar identified issues with the settings on some of the electronic poll book devices used at these locations to check-in voters prior to issuing ballots,” a statement from the office explained.
In both cases, however, the issue was fixed over the weekend.
“After troubleshooting the issue, the equipment at the locations was replaced and voting continued,” the statement said.
Voters who experienced issues were given pink provisional ballots, which are also used for new voters, people without ID, someone whose vote may have already been recorded, inactive voters and out-of-county voters.
Provisional ballots are only counted once a voter’s registration has been verified and election officials confirmed the person did not already cast a ballot in the election, according to the county’s election office.
“The provisional ballots are the failsafe method, so they’re actually there to be sure that nobody is turned away and that if there is a system issue or any problem with voting, that every voter still gets the change to vote,” L.A. County Registrar-Recorded Dean Logan said.
Thousands voted in Woodland Hills and just a handful were provided with a provisional ballot, according to a county elections office spokesman. An exact figure was not provided.
More than 250 vote centers were open for in-person voting throughout Los Angeles County, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.