Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Electoral Tampering in Los Angeles?

So I tried to vote this morning (I'm an Angeleno) and the polling place had NO BALLOTS. Not even a provisional ballot. The owner of the polling place urged me to go to another polling place a few blocks away. Of course, you can't do that. The LA Times had an exit poll worker there who was horrified and scolded the owner. After 20 minutes of waiting, with voters leaving in disgust, the owner said that the City had called and said that "the truck broke down at Lincoln and Century." I left without casting a ballot.

The truck broke down!? The dog ate my ballot? There are also stories that ballots were stolen in East Los Angeles, a Latino area of the City. Here's the bottom line: The LA Federation of Labor is heavily pulling for Hahn, including (wait for it) the public employees union and the teamsters. You know, ballots and trucks. Question: is any of this happening in the San Fernando Valley (which is Hahn's stronghold now)? I doubt it.

At lunchtime I'm driving back home and try to vote again.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention another tidbit. The LA Times Exit Poll Worker told me that she has done this for many years. At other precincts, she said, they only give the questionnaire to every fourth voter, but ours was a small precinct, so she had been instructed to give it to every voter.

You gotta love statistical sampling like that. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a mess. Thankfully I voted by mail a week ago.

And that is the DUMBEST statistical sampling I have ever heard of. Especially if you want a fair outcome. 

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

I went to the same polling place as LTG about an hour later (8:30 a.m.). They had ballots, and I voted, but I don't think they had the right voter registration book. I was asked to sign my name in a notebook, but no one checked my name against a big name/address register (which is standard procedure in most of LA).

-Seventh Sister

Anonymous said...

My polling place was moved several blocks to the east. My apartment is located in the 11th Council district but my new polling place was in a different district. It took me 10 minutes of insisting to 3 different poll workers that they give me an 11th district ballot before I finally got the correct ballot.

This matters becuse the council district they had me voting in did not have a council member election. But the 11th district has a very close runoff going on. So I very much wanted to vote in my own district and have my vote counted.

The poll workers kept trying to get me to take the wrong ballot and "write in" my choice for the 11th council district race. The promised me they would make sure it was counted and that I could trust them. All the while they had the correct ballots in another pile but did not offer them to me until I raised my voice and started looking for a phone to call the county clerk's office.

My district is likely to be a big source of votes for Antonio Villaraigosa who is challenging Mayor Hahn (Hahn is supported by white conservatives from "the Valley" and the LA harbor/"South Bay" area). I believe Villaraigosa is also very likely to be the leader in LTG's and Seventh Sister's district. My precinct is also an area more supportive of the council candidate who is on the opposite side of some public transit and airport proposals from Mayor Hahn's sister (also a council member from the LA harbor/"South Bay" area).

Something around here smells and it ain't just smog. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

Stories from LTG, Seventh Sister, and Raised by Republicans are astonishing and apalling. So speaking of statistical sampling, it looks like 100% of The Citizens who voted in person in L.A. experienced some level of electoral difficulty, from not having the right name/address book, to not having the right ballots, to not having any ballots at all!

Incidentally, my polling place in the Valley (Hahn territory?) has moved every time for the past three years. First it was at a real estate office, then at a synagogue, then at the Galleria. But at least they it was always situated in a large public place on a major street. This time, it was moved at the last minute to someone's home garage. It actually said "garage" on the postcard I got last week: I kid you not! And nobody at the registrar's office followed up on my offer to be a pollworker.

IMHO, anyone who saw how badly the election was being run today should have voted against Hahn--not because Villaraigosa has promised to do better, but because this is simply inexcusable and the city's leadership must be held accountable. When it comes to public mismanagement (to paraphrase Sen. Henry Reed), "I believe in punishment."

Dr. Strangelove said...

Incidentally, from the training I received as a pollworker in the November election, I believe that the pollworker who spoke to LTG was correct: he could have cast his ballot at another precinct, and the vote for mayor would have counted. But RxR could not have, since if you vote out of your precinct, only votes of offices common to both precints would be counted, and the 11th district write-in would not have been counted.

Anonymous said...

Update: I knew the "write in" solution would not have worked despite their insistence that it would. My concern was that they were simply not prepared to serve voters from two different council districts. I'm also concerned because if the polling volunteers are poorly prepared, what percentage of voters will be as assertive as I was? How many voters actually know what council district they live in? How many would just shrug their shoulders and vote on the wrong ballot if their sample ballot didn't match the ballot they were handed?

I have since called the election voter information number and complained about the situation at my polling station. I also called the campaign office of my chosen council candidate (Bill Rosendahl). The clerk's office was not particularly concerned. But the volunteer at Rosendahl's campaign immediately transfered me to a "bigger fish" in the office who was VERY interested...especially when he found out what precinct I live in. He said his campaign would look into it.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Raised By Republicans said...

Oh, by the way, my polling place was also changed at the last minute. For years, my precinct voted at a retirement home inside the district. But a week ago, I got a post card telling me to vote in a church about 10 blocks to the east.

I agree with Dr. Strangelove about the problems with Hahn.

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