(I wonder what we'll be dealing with the rest of the week. bump. - promoted by Lucas O'Connor)
So I went to my polling place at an off-hour to see if turnout was decent (it was pretty average, in my view). It was a new location for me, in a little art gallery featuring an exhibit called "Patriot Acts" (yes, a politically themed art installation in a polling place. Ah, the People's Republic of Santa Monica). I had no problem getting my ballot and heading to the booth. The guy behind me was a DTS voter who had no idea that Republicans didn't allow them to vote in the primary. "I wouldn't vote for the Republicans anyway," he yelled as he took a Democratic ballot. But nobody told him to make sure to fill out that Democratic oval to re-assert that he, as a nonpartisan voter, requested a Democratic ballot (as if taking the ballot in the first place wasn't enough of a clue). So I told him.
My neighbor was headed to the polls; she's also a DTS voter. I told her to make sure to fill out that Democratic oval. She said she kind of heard something about that but wasn't sure.
I've received more than a couple emails from DTS voters thanking me for telling them about the issue, or saying that they didn't fill out the bubble, asking me whether or not their votes will be counted.
This is a NIGHTMARE. An absolute nightmare. This has been in place since 2002, and somehow the evidence from 2004, when so few DTS voters participated in the Democratic primary in LA County, wasn't enough to dummy-proof the system. Thousands upon thousands of voters are going to be disenfranchised today. I can't reach them all; neither can the CDP. The Secretary of State must demand that all those DTS ballots are impounded, the machines recalibrated to eliminate this problem, and all votes reread through the feeder. In a race so close, we cannot have this crisis of confidence.
UPDATE: I'm on a conference call with the Obama campaign right now and they're talking about this very issue. "There is great concern" in Los Angeles County, and "the pollworkers are confused" about this as well, according to the lawyer on the phone now (I would use the word "ignorant" and not confused). "We're hoping the Secretary of State and the County Registrar will rectify this situation" but they don't sound particularly hopeful.
DTS voters are also being denied ballots in selected counties, according to the campaign.
Carla Marinucci is wondering why this wasn't challenged previously. This has been in place in LA County in multiple election cycles, and knowing that DTS voters would show up in record numbers, I agree that it should have been caught earlier. My point is that the Secretary of State's office or the county registrar should have been the ones to catch it. The lawyer just said "We hope that they will adopt procedures to make sure these ballots are counted," and if they aren't adopted, he raised the option of legal challenges.
These ballots almost certainly won't be counted tonight, and keep that in mind when you start seeing the results roll in.
They're hoping that the media gets this out. I'm trying.
UPDATE II: From Ezra Klein:
From the inbox: This is really weird. From the Clinton campaign:
4:25 PM EST HILLARY WIRE UPDATE...
* False reports about voting problems in LA are being drudged up
- Everything is going smoothly in LA.
What a revolting statement (if true).
Update (Lucas): LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has a statement out now.
"I urge the Secretary of State and County Registrar to do everything within their power to ensure that every vote is counted, and to carefully weigh voter intent against this confusing Los Angeles County ballot design.