LA County bubble trouble continues

There was a story in this morning’s LA Times, “L.A. County registrar to examine independents’ ballots; mix-up leaves many presidential votes uncounted.” According to the story and a quote from LA County Registrar Dean Logan, at this point there at least 94,000 ballots cast by “decline-to-state” voters that might need to be closely examined.

Here’s a good summary of the problem:

Logan said election workers had identified about 189,000 votes cast by nonpartisans in Los Angeles County. About half of those people marked a bubble indicating they were voting in a party primary, which leaves more than 94,000 ballots in doubt. That number is expected to rise as the count continues, Logan said.

Election workers will examine these ballots to see if voters marked a presidential candidate. But even if they did, it may be difficult to count them.

The presidential ballot for independents who voted in the Democratic primary was the same as the ballot for those who voted in the American Independent primary.

In the American Independent contest, there were three candidates running, while the Democratic Party had eight. The bubbles for the first three candidates in each party were in the same position on the ballot, making it impossible to tell after the fact if a voter was voting Democratic or American Independent — unless that person also filled in the bubble indicating party preference.

If you want to see the sample ballots, go to my posting from last week where I first wrote about this potential problem.

Morgan Llewellyn and I were down at the Registrar-Recorder’s Office this morning, following the post-election canvass. We looked carefully at the ballot remaking process, which was just getting started — hopefully later today I’ll be able to put up some photos and video of that process. We are heading back down after lunch when the 1% manual recount is scheduled to begin.