Criticism of L.A. County's voting system growsBy Richard C. Paddock, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
About 100,000 nonpartisan voters cast ballots without marking a party bubble. The registrar plans to estimate uncounted votes. But the outcome isn't expected to change.
Michael Nola, a poll worker in Claremont, went to two training sessions before election day and was instructed that nonpartisan voters were entitled to cast ballots in the Democratic Party or American Independent Party primaries.
What he never learned in class was that in addition to selecting a candidate, these voters were required to mark a bubble on their ballots indicating which party primary they were voting in. . . . It wasn't until midafternoon on election day that he and his fellow poll workers learned of the extra bubble, but by then it was too late. Many nonpartisan voters had already cast their ballots, including Nola himself.
"No mention was ever given about the requirement to fill in the dot for either party before choosing a particular candidate," he wrote in an e-mail. "Both my wife and I lost our votes by this needless oversight."
Across Los Angeles County, many nonpartisan voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary have learned to their dismay that their votes in the presidential contest did not matter.
On Friday, some angry voters called on election officials to let their votes count.
"I was disenfranchised, and I am furious," wrote independent Steve Katinsky in an e-mail. "This nonpartisan registered voting disaster makes Florida look like pikers in election screw-ups. To find out my vote did not count was a sudden and unexpected shock and is completely unacceptable."
Dean Logan, acting Los Angeles County registrar, estimates that about 100,000 nonpartisan voters cast ballots without marking a party bubble. How many of them intended to vote for a presidential candidate is unclear -- some may have wanted to vote only on the propositions on the ballot.
Logan, who said earlier that he would tabulate as many of the uncounted votes as legally possible, said Friday that his office is attempting to determine how many votes went uncounted and hopes to have an estimate early next week.
View Entire Article Here