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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