Today we are releasing our preliminary report that looks at the performance of vote centers in the March 2020 primary election in LA County. Our study, the “Preliminary Evaluation of Los Angeles County Vote Center Performance in the March 2020 Primary Elections”, was researched and written by Daniel Guth, Claudia Kann, Seo-young Silvia Kim, and myself.
The report presents the results of a large data analysis project we’ve done in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk, in which we use a number of unique datasets and dive deeply into many aspects of vote center operations in LA County’s March 2020 primary election. This new preliminary report gives a detailed data-driven analysis of the performance of LA County’s vote centers in the March 2020 primary election, paralleling our qualitative observations in our Election Day observation study, which was released on March 30, 2020.
The key recommendations from our detailed study of vote center performance in the March 2020 primary election are:
- We recommend that LACRR/CC strengthen and emphasize the process where real-time wait times data is collected for each vote center, and have them made available to voters and vote center staff in real-time.
- We recommend that additional independent evaluation of PollPad malfunctions be undertaken, especially with regard to the Internet connectivity and syncing of PollPads.
- We recommend that several datasets not analyzed in this report be made available to better assess the issues that arose in the March primary. These include evaluation of vote center locations, trouble ticket logs, and surveys of vote center staff.
- We recommend that LACRR/CC continue to study the functionality of BMDs in the
March primary. Our research group will also continue to study the available data on
BMD performance in the March primary. We suggest the following measures for the November general election:
- Provide clear, visible guidelines to the voter on how to correctly insert the ballot into the BMD at every BMD to reduce the paper jam rates.
- Train the vote center lead to quickly fix a malfunctioning BMD.
- Have a technical help backup team ready, especially late on Election Day.
We note that some of our recommendations parallel those in the recently released VSAP Board Report, and we welcome the opportunity to continue our collaboration with the LA County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk, Dean Logan, and his team. We want to thank Dean Logan and his team for providing us with this unparalleled opportunity to have access to the data we used in this report, and for their willingness to answer our questions and help us understand the data and vote center operations in the March primary election.