Technical issues plagued polling sites throughout California. Taxing a system meant making voting easier with new technology, centralized vote centers in some counties, and same-day registration.
What We Know:
- In Los Angeles, California, there have been predictions of problems with a $300 million election system proved prescient, with malfunctions causing confusion and frustration.
- Bernie Sanders, who won the California primary, filed a complaint in federal court Tuesday asking the county’s polling centers to stay open an extra two hours. He argued that voters were denied their constitutional right. The county registrar denied the request.
- Separately, election workers in 15 counties, including Fresno, Napa, and Sacramento, were unable to connect to the statewide voter registration database, said Sam Mahood, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office. He said there was no evidence of malicious activity, but did not explain what caused the failure.
- In Los Angeles, there are 5.4 million registered voters. Sanders’ complaint reported a wait exceeding four hours in one location and check-in stations and voting machines that were not working. Workers had issues with checking in voters because they could not properly scan names, which led to long lines.
- County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan apologized for the problems, saying it had been “a challenging day”. “I think what we also learned is that some of that model needs quite a bit of refinement,” he said, referring to the new system of 979 poll centers where any county voter could go. “I think we perhaps overestimated how many of those voters would take advantage of the early voting period.”
- The county’s new touch-screen voting devices, meant to boost accessibility, operated slowly at times because so many voters were trying to use them at once, said Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for Logan. More devices were added at some polling places and there were no indications of security breaches, he said.
Election integrity activists warned about the possible technical issues that may be faced. The system was bound to have serious failures and should not have been certified. The conditional certification was contingent on several defects being remedied — after Tuesday’s primary.