UPDATE: What we know about the LA County primary election 'glitch'

Voters in Beachwood Canyon, a Hollywood Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles, cast their ballots in the California primary election on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Voters in Beachwood Canyon, a Hollywood Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles, cast their ballots in the California primary election on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Signe Larsen for KPCC

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UPDATE: JUNE 8, 2018 

KPCC has confirmed election officials at five additional counties in California know of active registered voters whose names were missing from printed poll rosters on Tuesday. Those counties include Inyo, Kings, Ventura, Sonoma and Yuba. Election officials at several other counties have told KPCC they did not experience problems. The number of names in Inyo, Kings, Sonoma and Yuba counties are small: so far fewer than a dozen registered voters whose names should have appeared on the rosters are known to have been missing in error. 

Ventura County could not immediately provide the number of voters who were left off rosters.

Kammi Foote, the County Clerk/Recorder for Inyo County, located east of Sequoia National Park, said the names of at least a handful of active registered voters were missing from her rosters. Late Thursday, Foote told KPCC she believes the error is related to an update that occurred in April, when the Secretary of State’s office and the DMV launched automated voter registration, the program that registers people to vote when they apply for a driver's license or change their information -- unless they opt out. Inyo County has about 10,000 registered voters, according to Foote.

In a written statement provided Friday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that after a review of what happened in Inyo County, the information provided shows the “issue is not related to the Los Angeles County printing error, nor is it related to the DMV and the new California Motor Voter Program. We have identified areas where process and procedures were not followed by the county office and have offered to work with Inyo County to further enhance their training.”

In Kings County, Clerk-Recorder Kristine Lee on Friday said she knows of two voters who were left off the rolls in error and there could be more who didn’t report the issue. Lee did not know the cause of the problem. She said her county has about 52,000 registered voters.

“It did surprise us,” she said. “Normally the rosters are correct.”

Padilla's office is conducting further reviews and says there is no evidence of a systematic problem.

In addition, L.A. County's Board of Supervisors and L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan are now calling for an independent third party review due to the severity of the problems in L.A. County. Logan has asked for help from the L.A. County Chief Information Officer and the Auditor-Controller for an outside review of what caused the massive error.

We'll be updating this story as information becomes available. 

It’s been a tough couple of days for Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan, the county's top elections officer.

Logan tweet

On Tuesday, about 118,000 names were missing from voter rosters at precincts around the county, causing confusion and anger. On Wednesday, Logan was called before the county supervisors to account for what happened. 

Q: So what do we know about what happened at the polls on primary day?

People began complaining in the morning that when they visited their polling locations to vote, their names were not included on the precinct rolls. This happened even though they were properly registered.

It quickly became clear that the county had a widespread problem. If people were affected, they were supposed to be offered provisional ballots that allow people to vote. Once eligibility is verified, the ballots are counted.

Q: What's the explanation for the 'glitch'?

Elections officials issued a statement pointing to a printing error for the problem, but details of how that error happened haven't yet been determined.

The Board of Supervisors called on Logan Wednesday to further explain how the "glitch" happened. Several of the supervisors were clearly upset and expressed deep disappointment. 

"We need to know what happened," said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. She said while there is potential for bugs with computer systems, "we got several different explanations for why people’s names were not on these rosters."

Kuehl was also upset that the supervisors weren’t notified immediately of the problems.

Logan apologized for falling short, adding "I understand the gravity of it.'' But he defended his communication about the issue, saying he was doing media interviews and keeping the public apprised of the issues. 

Q: Election officials said that anyone affected could vote provisionally until their information could be checked. But do we know if everyone entitled to a provisional ballot actually received one?

That’s not entirely clear – and there were reports that some voters were turned away, unable to vote.

This is an issue that gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa raised at his campaign election party last night as he fell behind in the vote count. But by the end of the evening, it was clear that the problem would not affect the results, and he conceded the race.

Logan said while his office is still investigating the issue, he doesn’t have a way to track people who showed up but did not vote.

"If there were voters who were frustrated by being offered a provisional ballot and chose not to do that, I’m not saying that that didn’t happen. I don’t have a way to quantify that. We know that there were a substantial number of provisional ballots cast," he said.

In addition, Kuehl said one of her staff members whose name was missing from the rosters had to ask five times for a provisional ballot before she finally got one.

She called for more training of poll workers as well as more workers who are bilingual.

Q: What will election officials do next, and how can they prevent similar problems from happening again?

Logan says he’s working to expedite the processing of the provisional ballots that were given voters affected. He said a good number of the ballots should be counted by Friday.

Logan tweet

As for how election officials will prevent this from happening again, that should be laid out in a report to the supervisors in the days ahead. There are still many open questions about how a problem of this scale could have occurred.

Q: My name was missing from the rolls at my polling place. How can I find out if the provisional ballot I cast is actually counted?

If you’re one of the voters who experienced this problem, the county registrar's office says it is expediting the process of counting the provisional ballots.

The registrar's office does have an online tool that allows voters to check their provisional ballot status and tells KPCC they are working to expedite how quickly voters can track their ballots. But as of Friday morning, the tool had not been updated to cover Tuesday's election.

Please let us know about your voting experience by reaching out in the question box on our Voter Game Plan page.

This story has been updated.