Perhaps no California county had more at stake in the statewide primary this year than Los Angeles, home to more voters than anywhere else in the state, and whose officials attempted to implement the new law while also rolling out a new $300-million system for marking and counting ballots. Images of voters standing in long lines deep into the night on Tuesday were seen across the nation, and voters complained of problems on social media and by calling the state’s election hotline.
State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), the author of the 2016 law to move counties away from traditional elections and toward a model that combines absentee ballots with full-service centers for those who want to vote in person, said he will introduce legislation next week that would require L.A. County to open more vote centers in November or mail all registered voters a ballot….
adilla, who was the new law’s most vocal champion and raised no concerns in 2016 about exempting L.A. from mailing everyone a ballot, insisted Thursday it was not his decision.
“It was a mistake for the Legislature to give L.A. County special treatment,” he said.
Dean Logan, L.A. County’s registrar of voters, said in a written statement he released Thursday that Padilla’s call to mail everyone a ballot would not be easy.
“The logistics and capacity for election administration in Los Angeles County are complex and demanding,” Logan wrote. “Significant efforts were made — and must be made going forward — to ensure greater access, functionality and reliability in the voting model. Expansion of vote by mail should be explored to determine its viability in the short timeframe ahead of the November election, but more is required.”…
Richard L. Hasen, an election law professor at UC Irvine, said that the novelty of the new voting machines and check-in tablets made enhanced training important. And he said an influx of younger, more technologically savvy election workers would help.
“The technology has gone from fourth-grade technology to graduate school-level technology,” he said. “You need younger people who are more comfortable with the technology. There should be a big push for that.”