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Some 2,100 L.A. County voters got ballots missing one thing: a way to vote for president

About 2,100 residents in Woodland Hills received "faulty ballots."
Woodland Hills resident Christy Gargalis was one of about 2,100 registered voters in her area who received or will be receiving faulty mail-in ballots.
(Courtesy of Christy Gargalis)

More than 2,000 Los Angeles County voters got mail-in ballots with a very egregious flaw: no way to vote for U.S. president.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office confirmed late Monday that about 2,100 “faulty ballots” were mailed earlier that day to residents in the Woodland Hills area.

The botched effort was part of a campaign to mail 21 million ballots to registered California voters. About 5.6 million of those voters are in L.A. County. State law mandates that absentee ballots be mailed 29 days ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

“While this has impacted a very small number of Los Angeles County voters … we nevertheless apologize to those affected by the mistake,” said Michael Sanchez, a spokesman for the county clerk’s office.

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Attorney Christy Gargalis, a Woodland Hills resident, did a double take Monday afternoon when she received her ballot in the mail, along with that of her husband, Jason Scupine, also a lawyer.

“I’ve always been an in-person voter, so I wasn’t even planning on looking at the ballot until the day I was going to vote,” Gargalis said.

After failing to see a presidential ticket on her ballot, Gargalis checked her copy against those of her husband and sister, who lives at the same residence.

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All three ballots had a list of state propositions printed twice, on pages four and five. But no way to vote for Joe Biden or President Trump ... or Kanye West or anyone else looking to be POTUS for the next four years.

“Something told me that this was a different election, a different year, and I just had to check my ballot, and I’m glad I did,” said Gargalis.

She said she reached out to state and county officials; the latter informed her that they would be sending new ballots soon. She also turned to Facebook and other social media.

“My neighbors on Nextdoor all have the same problem,” she said.

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Even though Gargalis filed a complaint, only her husband has received an emailed update from the county clerk that a new ballot would be sent out Tuesday morning.

“We are now in the process of alerting all affected voters in this precinct of the error by robocall and email, and tomorrow morning we will be mailing out new, corrected ballots with a letter describing the error,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez has advised voters to “discard” the faulty ballots and mail in only the accurate ones.

“If they have already filled out and mailed their original ballot,” Sanchez said, “we will cancel their original ballot once their new ballot is received.”

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Times staff writer John Myers contributed to this story.


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