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L.A. County registrar tries to ease voters’ concerns over fraud, suppression

People began arriving at 3:30 a.m. to take part in early voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters office in Norwalk on Nov. 7.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County registrar has sought throughout Election Day to ease concerns over of fraud and voter suppression.

As quickly as tweets and calls came in over missing pens, misaddressed ballots and inoperable machines, the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk sent employees to address problems around the county, said registrar Dean Logan.

“As they’re reported, we have field staff go out and correct those,” Logan said.

At some polling locations, the machines that take in completed ballots stopped working.

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“The most important thing for voters to know is that those devices at polling places do not count the votes,” said Logan, noting that ballots are not counted until they’re delivered to the Norwalk office at the end of the day. “It is standard practice that if those devices go down, the voting continues.”

Some absentee voters showed up at the polls distressed because the ballots they received were addressed to other voters. Others said they never received the ballots they had requested.

It’s unclear how many voters were affected, Logan said.

“What we do know is there were over 2.3 million vote-by-mail ballots issued and more than 800,000 that have been voted and returned to date,” he said.

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Voters who didn’t get their mail ballots or got misaddressed ones can cast a provisional ballot, which is counted as soon as staff verify the eligibility of the voter.

Typically, 85 to 90% of L.A. County’s provisional ballots are counted.

“Here in California, that really is a fail-safe method of insuring that a voter isn’t turned away or sent hunting for another polling place,” Logan said.

The polls will remain open until 8 p.m. Anyone who is still in line at that time will have the opportunity to vote.

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“We will stay open until the last person is able to cast their ballot,” Logan said. “If you can’t get to your place, get to a polling place somewhere in the county and just know that those provisional ballots are a safeguard and will be counted.”

alice.walton@latimes.com

Twitter: @TheCityMaven


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