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More than 115,000 names left off Los Angeles county voter rolls

Dean C. Logan, the LA County registrar-recorder/county clerk, announced in a press release late Tuesday afternoon that 118,522 names were omitted from the primary election voter rolls.

A total of 1,530 precincts of the county’s 4,357 voting locations were affected in some way, his office said. Los Angeles county has 4.3 million registered voters.

“Our office is committed to ensuring every voter has a positive voting experience on Election Day,” Mr. Logan said in a press release. “We apologize for the inconvenience and concern this has caused. Voters should be assured their vote would be counted.”

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, as reports began to emerge regarding missing names, Mr. Logan tried to temper voters’ frustration via Twitter.

“This is a random issue with the print job that ran the paper rosters and does not affect your status as a registered voter,” Mr. Logan tweeted.

In his press release, he assured voters that election officials are “working to determine the root cause of the problem, which arose when some data was not included in the printed lists.”

Claremont resident Diane Andersen, who has lived on the 400 block of Marygrove Rd. since 1983, was directed by the county to vote at the Joslyn Senior Center. When she arrived to the Joslyn at 10 a.m. on Election Day, her name was missing from the voter rolls.

“A poll worker said I live in a bubble of houses where addresses were missing,” Ms. Andersen explained. “I’ve lived in the same house and missed only one election 20 years ago, and it was a small election. I’m irritated by it.”

Voting provisionally raises concerns for Ms. Andersen, particularly in the Claremont election with Measure SC, the police station bond, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass.

“Although I’m non-partisan, I’m supporting the police,” she said. “We need every vote on this.”

Some voters went straight to social media to share their displeasure at being left of the rolls. Longtime resident Joan Bunte was among the many Claremont voters who were required to vote provisionally.

“Went to vote at 7:45 a.m. at Joslyn Center and was handed a provisional ballot because my name and address did not appear on records!” Ms. Bunte shared. “Have voted at every single election since moving to Claremont in 1965. Feel a little bit disenfranchised!”

At Chaparral Elementary School, 57 provisional ballots had been cast by 1:30 p.m., with Sycamore School poll workers reporting 53 provisional ballots and 329 regular ballots cast by 4 p.m.

Several Claremont residents reported that their voting status was changed on April 6, 2018 or May 7, 2018 to vote-by-mail without submitting a request for the change. So far, the county offers no concrete explanation as to why voters were re-registered or simply left off the rolls.

City Clerk Shelley Desautels visited several polling locations Tuesday and worked closely with county election officials to try to sort out the problem.

“We have spoken with the assistant division manager at the county. They are aware there are some issues with names not appearing on the roster,” she said.

Ms. Desautels urged Claremont’s 21,219 registered voters—of which 10,058 are on vote-bymail-status this election—to follow through.

“Vote provisionally, because if you are where you know you should be, registrants can be verified by the county after the election,” she explained. “And keep your receipt.”

At the request of a handful of Claremont voters, the city clerk said she was able to verify voters’ status on the LA County Voter Information Management System (VIMS), an online database available at no cost to cities.

“We have access to that and we’ve been able to check and verify they are registered and their [provisional] vote will be counted,” she said.

A provisional ballot is a regular ballot that is placed in a special pink envelope prior to being put in the ballot box. These ballots are counted after the county verifies that the individual is registered to vote in that county and that he or she did not vote twice. Provisional votes could swing the Measure SC election, depending on how widespread the issue is in Claremont.

If you voted provisionally, visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status/ after the election to find out if your vote was counted. It can take the LA County Registrar-Recorder up to 30 days to certify results from an election, particularly if there is an increased number of provisional ballots to verify.

“Past election records show that on average 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots are determined to be valid and counted,” the county clerk related.

If you have questions or concerns about election day, call (800) 815-2666 or email voterinfo@rrcc.lacounty.gov.

—Kathryn Dunn

editor@claremont-courier.com