Thanks to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, it looks as though Californians’ votes in the presidential primaries may actually matter this year. In the past, the Democratic and Republican nominees had generally been well established by the time the California primary rolled around, and the election was pretty much ceremonial. But this year, because no candidate has won enough delegates to secure his or her party’s nomination (or hasn’t elbowed aside his or her remaining competitors yet), the campaigning is expected to continue right up to the state’s June 7 primary. That’s a nice change for Californians — their votes could determine the presidential contest.
The big question is whether elections officials in the state’s 58 counties are prepared to handle a potentially record-breaking turnout. This week Padilla sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders making a pitch for $32 million in one-time funding to help his office and local officials manage the workload.
He’s right to be concerned after high participation and poor management in Arizona and other states forced people to wait in line for hours to cast primary ballots.
Over the next few months, counties will need to print more ballots, hire more temporary workers and train more volunteers. That all costs money.
If California is going to matter this year, let’s get it right.