Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. LA Elections Were Beyond Stupid

 

When you hear the phrase “Los Angeles County Election Official,” the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t “genius.” The election officials are responsible for elections in a county so big that it has over 4,500 voting locations. They decided to reduce that number to 978.

The same officials were surprised when the 978 polling locations were crowded on Super Tuesday.

If that had been the only thing they did, you might call them “stupid.”

It wasn’t the only thing they did.

Along with the substantial reduction in voting locations they rolled out a new voting software, that required signing in with a wireless tablet, and the use of computerized voting machines. This was foisted upon volunteers not uniformly computer literate. And apparently the system wasn’t stress-tested. Glitches occurred making a terrible day even worse.

Los Angeles County spent $300 million on the software. Many of us here at Ricochet could have written software that crashes on Election Day for a fraction of that amount.

Large numbers of people waited for hours in line to vote. If you were in line at poll closing (8 p.m.), you are legally guaranteed your chance to vote. The City of Montebello apparently didn’t know that. They closed the doors right at 8 p.m. and threatened to call the police on the voters that remained outside.

But don’t worry folks. The Los Angeles County Supervisors are on the case and, by golly, they will get to the bottom of it! They are going to solve the mystery of what happened on Election Day. Their public remarks so far are focused on the software and “bad management,” and not on the tiny number of voting locations.

They might even solve the software problems, but if that’s all they do, the General Election will be worse. 3.5 million people will be voting at 978 polling locations. And again, the officials will be surprised at the mess.

Published in Elections
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  1. TheRightNurse Member

    But they had 10 days! And vote by mail! Surely that should have reduced the need for voting locations…

    • #1
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:32 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):
    But they had 10 days! And vote by mail! Surely that should have reduced the need for voting locations…

    I hadn’t even been paying attention to the changes until I went to vote yesterday. I knew there was a new system because the sample ballot was different.

    After I saw the mess, I did some rudimentary research.

    • #2
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    The day before I was scheduled to vote in California, I was told by my neighbor that this would be the last election served in San Diego County by community polling places. In November, they will reduce the number of locations from > 600 to 40. Somehow I missed the memo as, apparently, did many people in Los Angeles. Instead of driving 5 minutes to the polling place, waiting in a short line and voting on my way to work, it will be a nightmare. Of course this was designed by geniuses to make voting easier. But only if you vote by mail or come in days early. I refuse to vote early by mail or at the polling place-the folly of early voting was shown clearly in the California primary where 2 major candidates dropped out days before the election.

    “New technology is just the beginning. Traditional polling places have been replaced by so-called Voting Centers that election officials say will be larger and better-staffed. Early in-person voting at some of these facilities began on Feb. 22. Voting Centers will offer same-day registration, even on election day. Voters will no longer be tied to a single polling place near their homes, rather they can cast ballots at any Voting Center in their county.” 

    “California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Saturday predicted record voter turnout in 2020. “As a result, Election Day wait times may be longer than normal,” he said in a statement urging Californians to vote early.”Reuters

    In other words, the Secretary of State was encouraging you to throw away your vote.

    I will join whatever lawsuits are filed against California for voter suppression. What complete and total idiots we have in this state. 

    • #3
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:48 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    “California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Saturday predicted record voter turnout in 2020. “As a result, Election Day wait times may be longer than normal,” he said in a statement urging Californians to vote early.”Reuters

    This is especially galling.

     

    • #4
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    Voters will no longer be tied to a single polling place near their homes, rather they can cast ballots at any Voting Center in their county.”

    Tell me how that is more convenient? I have to leave my home in the morning and return to it at night. There were friendly people there. I saw my neighbors-we chatted in line. Never did I wait more than 10 minutes to vote. Now I’m sure I will fighting traffic to get somewhere to vote and wait hours. I will do it as my patriotic duty and many have had to suffer worse for their right to vote, but I am incensed at the idiocy of California. Incensed but not surprised.

    In contrast to Los Angeles County, here is how it worked in San Diego using the current system of polling places:

    Election Day in San Diego marked by short lines, few hiccups

    https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/story/2020-03-03/voting-gets-underway-in-san-diego-county

    • #5
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Rob Long’s former co-worker at “Cheers”, writer Ken Levine, posted a rant yesterday on his blog about the new Los Angeles County voting system (Ken dislikes Trump with the passion of a thousand white-hot Max Boots, but the NSFW screed is a fun read):

    Instead of being sent sample ballots and punching in your votes (that correspond to the sample ballot), now you go to a website, register, fill out the ballot on your device, then get a bar code. You take a screenshot of that bar code. Then at the polling machine you scan it, your filled-in ballot comes up, you make changes or approve it, then put a paper ballot into the machine (you still following this?), it prints it, returns it, you double check it, then insert it again and voila, you’ve voted. Only eleven steps.

    Of course if the scanner didn’t accept your bar code you’re at square one with no sample ballot to guide you through your many choices. And if there are paper jams, which there are frequently, or if you’re not tech savvy, or if you enter the polling place expecting the old system – you are f***ed.

    Oh, and then there are already articles saying the system could be compromised or glitches could screw things up.

    (I cut the excerpt at the obligatory Russian election meddling line, though this being Los Angeles County and the State of California, I kind of doubt the new system was put in by a bunch of Trump-loving Republicans….)

    • #6
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:13 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Rob Long’s former co-worker at “Cheers”, writer Ken Levine, posted a rant yesterday on his blog about the new Los Angeles County voting system (Ken dislikes Trump with the passion of a thousand white-hot Max Boots, but the NSFW screed is a fun read):

    Instead of being sent sample ballots and punching in your votes (that correspond to the sample ballot), now you go to a website, register, fill out the ballot on your device, then get a bar code. You take a screenshot of that bar code. Then at the polling machine you scan it, your filled-in ballot comes up, you make changes or approve it, then put a paper ballot into the machine (you still following this?), it prints it, returns it, you double check it, then insert it again and voila, you’ve voted. Only eleven steps.

    Of course if the scanner didn’t accept your bar code you’re at square one with no sample ballot to guide you through your many choices. And if there are paper jams, which there are frequently, or if you’re not tech savvy, or if you enter the polling place expecting the old system – you are f***ed.

    Oh, and then there are already articles saying the system could be compromised or glitches could screw things up.

    (I cut the excerpt at the obligatory Russian election meddling line, though this being Los Angeles County and the State of California, I kind of doubt the new system was put in by a bunch of Trump-loving Republicans….)

    Unbelievable. But then again, it’s the Levines of the world that put these morons in office and vote reliably for them year after year after year. In my district in San Diego, there was not a single Republican on the ballot. Not a single one. They don’t even bother to run anymore. This is what one party rule gets you. Supreme idiocy.

    • #7
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:28 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Rob Long’s former co-worker at “Cheers”, writer Ken Levine, posted a rant yesterday on his blog about the new Los Angeles County voting system (Ken dislikes Trump with the passion of a thousand white-hot Max Boots, but the NSFW screed is a fun read):

    ….

    Unbelievable. But then again, it’s the Levines of the world that put these morons in office and vote reliably for them year after year after year. In my district in San Diego, there was not a single Republican on the ballot. Not a single one. They don’t even bother to run anymore. This is what one party rule gets you. Supreme idiocy.

    One party rule means there’s no one to say ‘no’ or even offer a word of caution who’ll be listened to, when you have pols who may have gotten some big campaign contributions from some Silicon Valley tech company to take voting to the next level. And that’s the case, even as Levine notes, when there are more and more people, including people on the left, who are cautioning that online voting systems — in Red or Blue states — can get hacked. It doesn’t matter if the election is all fouled up, as long as the people voting as just going to elect the same people to office no matter how much they screw up.

    But in a state with an active two-party system, the people in charge are going to be more cautious about putting in untested technology, because there could be a price to pay at the next election if they totally bollocks up the current one with a buggy or non-functioning voting method, no matter how 21st Century it may seem.

    • #8
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:56 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Thought I’d mention; I had to re-register in LA County even though I vote every year. 

    • #9
    • March 5, 2020, at 1:00 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. CJ Coolidge
    CJ

    Somewhat related, one news report on Super Tuesday was lauding the “excitement” and “turnout” as the camera panned the long lines of people waiting for hours to cast their votes. It occurred to me that these voting lines are a lot like bread lines in communist countries. In one, the State provides a limited selection of sustenance. In the other, the States provides a limited selection of people to rule over you.

    • #10
    • March 5, 2020, at 4:28 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Stad Thatcher

    BastiatJunior: Los Angeles County spent $300 million on the software. Many of us here at Ricochet could have written software that crashes on Election Day for a fraction of that amount.

    Follow the money. I’ll bet one or more election officials or politicians have direct financial connections to whoever wrote the software . . .

    • #11
    • March 5, 2020, at 4:51 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. JoelB Member

    It could be interesting to compare the reduction of polling places in Republican neighborhoods vs the reduction in Democrat neighborhoods. (Assuming there are still Republican neighborhoods in CA) If the Republicans had reduced the number of polling places, the Dems would be protesting the disenfranchisement of the people.

    • #12
    • March 5, 2020, at 5:21 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor

    They’re making us Floridians look brilliant!

    • #13
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:10 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. MarciN Member

    JoelB (View Comment):

    It could be interesting to compare the reduction of polling places in Republican neighborhoods vs the reduction in Democrat neighborhoods. (Assuming there are still Republican neighborhoods in CA) If the Republicans had reduced the number of polling places, the Dems would be protesting the disenfranchisement of the people.

    Exactly. 

    • #14
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:22 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    They’re making us Floridians look brilliant!

    Well that certainly is a big lift 😁

    • #15
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:43 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    BastiatJunior: … in a county so big that it has over 4500 voting locations.

    I find it interesting how in all the online discussions I’ve ever seen about “improving” American democratic processes, nobody ever seems to mention how counties in the western half of the country are so much bigger than counties in the eastern half. This seems like it would result in a lot of disparate impacts at election time.

    • #16
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:56 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    And that’s the case, even as Levine notes, when there are more and more people, including people on the left, who are cautioning that online voting systems — in Red or Blue states — can get hacked

    And let’s not forget, the left were the ones pushing electronic voting after the 2000 election. Yet another in a long line of stupid recommendations that quietly disappear when they are found out to be flawed.

    • #17
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here’s my solution to these issues — local polling places in churches and neighborhood schools the way they used to be. Once you prove your eligibility to vote (once), you’re handed a slip of paper on which to write your preferred candidate’s name and slip it in a box. Republican and Democrat poll workers manually count and verify the ballots. Any ballots with misspelling of candidate’s name get tossed. 

    Several birds. One stone. /joking. sort of.

    • #18
    • March 5, 2020, at 8:00 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  19. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    And that’s the case, even as Levine notes, when there are more and more people, including people on the left, who are cautioning that online voting systems — in Red or Blue states — can get hacked

    And let’s not forget, the left were the ones pushing electronic voting after the 2000 election. Yet another in a long line of stupid recommendations that quietly disappear when they are found out to be flawed.

    The left was supposedly outrageously outraged as early as 2004 about electronic voting — remember the supposedly fixed Diebold voting machines in Ohio that gave the state and the election to Bush over Kerry? But the left also sees electronic voting as a way to boost turnout about people who tend to not turn out to vote, who they see as favoring Democrats if they can get them to the polls.

    The think creating apps that put voting on the same level as ordering an Uber ride or food through Door Dash is the way to go (even if, in California, they don’t want you to order an Uber ride or food through Door Dash unless everyone taking the requests is unionized). So they keep pushing new electronic/computer voting systems that have a higher risk of outside tampering, and when elections like 2004 and 2016 don’t go their way, complain about electronic/computer voting systems being tampered with.

    • #19
    • March 5, 2020, at 8:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    They’re making us Floridians look brilliant!

    Okay, that’s just cruel. 

    • #20
    • March 5, 2020, at 10:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. danys Thatcher
    danys Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I voted on Monday & at my voting station in West Los Angeles one of the 2 sign-in pads wasn’t working & 1 voting computers wasn’t working. I also didn’t like that my voting choices were printed out and in a large enough font that anyone could easily see how I voted on propositions or for which candidates. I was not surprised that Tuesday was a fiasco.

    • #21
    • March 5, 2020, at 5:10 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Suspira Member

    Next time far more people will vote early to avoid the crowds. I suppose that was the purpose of the reduction in polling places.

    • #22
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Next time far more people will vote early to avoid the crowds. I suppose that was the purpose of the reduction in polling places.

    It apparently was, but how does that serve our elections well? You shouldn’t be subjected to 2 hour waits just because you want to wait until election day to make a decision. It is punitive. In the case of the primaries that just passed, it caused a significant number of people to throw their vote away.

    • #23
    • March 5, 2020, at 9:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    The day before I was scheduled to vote in California, I was told by my neighbor that this would be the last election served in San Diego County by community polling places. In November, they will reduce the number of locations from > 600 to 40.

    Correction. He said that November would be the last sane election in San Diego. I’ve yet to confirm that San Diego has signed onto this inane system but he used to work for the Registrar of Voters so I’m assuming he is correct.

    • #24
    • March 5, 2020, at 9:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Unsk Member

    Follow the money. I’ll bet one or more election officials or politicians have direct financial connections to whoever wrote the software . . .

    Nice try, but nope. This is a move to get away from Neighborhood polling places that can be checked. These far away polling places scattered hither and yon with lines a mile long like mine more easily accommodate the illegal alien voter, ( no local known identity and no way of checking) of which they are many millions in LA County. More votes for the right party you see, that is what is at stake here.

    Y’all don’t have to worry- nothing will be done. All the LA County Supervisors representing a mere 2 million plus each are all Dems and are in for life, if they want it. But this great new system may be coming to your neighborhood soon though, if a certain party has it’s way. 

    • #25
    • March 5, 2020, at 9:30 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Follow the money. I’ll bet one or more election officials or politicians have direct financial connections to whoever wrote the software . . .

    Nice try, but nope. This is a move to get away from Neighborhood polling places that can be checked. These far away polling places scattered hither and yon with lines a mile long like mine more easily accommodate the illegal alien voter, ( no local known identity and no way of checking) of which they are many millions in LA County. More votes for the right party you see, that is what is at stake here.

    Y’all don’t have to worry- nothing will be done. All the LA County Supervisors representing a mere 2 million plus each are all Dems and are in for life, if they want it. But this great new system may be coming to your neighborhood soon though, if a certain party has it’s way.

    This ridiculous system was designed and supported by Democrats and opposed by what’s left of the GOP. That’s all you need to know.

    • #26
    • March 5, 2020, at 9:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Suspira Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Next time far more people will vote early to avoid the crowds. I suppose that was the purpose of the reduction in polling places.

    It apparently was, but how does that serve our elections well? You shouldn’t be subjected to 2 hour waits just because you want to wait until election day to make a decision. It is punitive. In the case of the primaries that just passed, it caused a significant number of people to throw their vote away.

    It doesn’t! I’m opposed to early voting in general, but if we must have it, make it a much smaller window. Say, three days.

    • #27
    • March 6, 2020, at 5:55 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Next time far more people will vote early to avoid the crowds. I suppose that was the purpose of the reduction in polling places.

    It apparently was, but how does that serve our elections well? You shouldn’t be subjected to 2 hour waits just because you want to wait until election day to make a decision. It is punitive. In the case of the primaries that just passed, it caused a significant number of people to throw their vote away.

    It doesn’t! I’m opposed to early voting in general, but if we must have it, make it a much smaller window. Say, three days.

    I think the larger window is there to help Democrats assess how hard they will have to cheat. 

    • #28
    • March 6, 2020, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    The bug is the feature for massive cheating. The noise and confusion will nicely screen as much ballot box stuffing, high or low tech, as is needed for the state to stay hard left.

    • #29
    • March 6, 2020, at 3:36 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    The bug is the feature for massive cheating. The noise and confusion will nicely screen as much ballot box stuffing, high or low tech, as is needed for the state to stay hard left.

    If I was an evil genius Democrat, I would find a way to flip Trump votes into Biden votes to ensure Bernie doesn’t upset the apple cart and to practice software manipulation for the general election. 

    • #30
    • March 6, 2020, at 5:56 PM PST
    • Like