City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian’s failure to implement the city auditor’s election recommendations is clearly stated in the last three election audits. Lack of tracking of the absentee, mail-in ballots is the most troubling and I have been bringing up this issue at forums.
In the June 2007 election audit the auditor observed, “A more formal tracking of absentee and provisional voter ballots should take place. There is potentially a greater risk of the number of ballots being inaccurately reported … there is a greater risk of ballots not completing the necessary processing steps.”
And again in 2009: “A more formal tracking of the vote-by-mail and provisional ballots should take place. (Noted in 2007-Status: Not implemented)”
And a third time in 2011: “Vote-by-mail ballots are not date-stamped or counted as they are received from the Post Office. In addition, a quick count is not done before they are forwarded to be opened and officially counted. A lack of tracking the vote-by-mail ballots from the point they are received until they are officially opened and counted can increase the risk of ballots lost or misplaced.”
Kassakhian states, “Our efforts were recently recognized by experts from the Claremont McKenna College’s Rose Institute of State and Local Government,” consultants hired by the clerk to create Glendale’s online election mapping tool, hardly an unbiased reviewer of the clerk’s office.
The 2011 election audit says the “Clerk’s Office will implement the recommendations at the next election.” But the question remains: Why did it take six years to implement this change?
Editor’s note: The writer is a candidate for the office of Glendale city clerk.