Voting is supposed to be pretty easy. You show up, poll workers confirm you’re registered to vote, you cast a ballot, and you leave. Simple.
But Miso Kwak’s attempts to vote in Tuesday’s primary election turned into a complicated morass as L.A. County voting machines designed to help blind voters repeatedly failed to work at one polling station after another — thwarting Kwak and well-intentioned poll workers alike.
Kwak, 23, of Diamond Bar, who said she is nearly totally blind and can’t read print, has previously successfully used the county’s audio ballot booth technology, in which voters can listen to ballot text on headphones and cast votes using arrow buttons.
Four statewide ballot propositions were headed toward passage in California on Tuesday, while an effort to control how future funds collected through the state’s climate change program appeared headed toward a defeat early in the evening.
Gavin Newsom, the favorite of the California Democratic Party’s core liberal base, won first place in Tuesday’s primary election for California governor, but the fight for the second spot on the November ballot remained too close to call in early returns.
Rival Democrat and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Republican businessman John Cox both appeared to be within reach of finishing in the top two, with far-right GOP Assemblyman Travis Allen also in the mix.
Cox poured nearly $5 million into his bid for governor, but his political fortunes really brightened when Trump fired off a tweet endorsing him in the final weeks of the campaign.
I'm calling on @LACountyRRCC to keep the polls open longer because of the unprecedented number of voters left off the voter rolls. You have the right to vote. If you were turned away, return to your polling place & exercise your right to vote by requesting a provisional ballot. pic.twitter.com/hLxVPaa9ML
Antonio Villaraigosa called on elections officials Tuesday to extend election day until Friday because of errors that led to the names of more than 118,000 voters not appearing on the rolls in Los Angeles County.
“It should be infuriating to voters,” Villaraigosa told reporters at his election night party in downtown Los Angeles. “You would expect that in the United States of America, in the county of Los Angeles, they would be able to conduct an election without there being problems of this magnitude.”
He said his campaign had filed requests with county elections officials to extend voting, and has asked Secretary of State Alex Padilla to investigate how the errors occurred. He said they have not yet received a response.
Republican Rep. David Valadao advanced to the general election along with his sole opponent, Democrat TJ Cox, on Tuesday.
Cox, an engineer and businessman, jumped into the race late. He replaced Bakersfield lawyer Emilio Huerta as the only Democrat on the ballot. Huerta dropped out in March, having raised little money and campaigning sparingly. Cox had originally planned to run against neighboring GOP Rep. Jeff Denham.
Though voter registration in their congressional district leans heavily against Republicans — Democrats have an 18-percentage-point advantage — Valadao outran President Trump by 16 percentage points and even Hillary Clinton by 2 percentage points. Democratic candidates have struggled to turn out support because of ineffective campaigns and low voter turnout.
Jun. 5, 2018, 8:47 p.m.
“I like the early returns.”
Republican John Cox, in an interview with Fox News about 45 minutes after polls closed