Bureaucratic ignorance fuels the public’s institutional distrust, particularly when it comes to elections.
Polls are open in California for voters to determine whether to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and residents are eagerly casting their ballots.
But some voters are worried that their votes will not be counted — including two women who went to vote in Woodland Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Estelle Bender, who lives in nearby West Hills, told KTLA-TV that she and others at the polling place were informed that they had already voted even though that had not.
Asked how shocked she was, the 88-year-old responded, “Very. I went to El Camino High School to vote, got there at 10:30, gave her this and she scanned it and said, ‘You voted.’ And I said, ‘No I haven’t.’ And she said, ‘This has been happening all morning.’
“The man next to me was arguing the same thing. So as I left, I did the provisional ballot.”
Bender said she “saw two women walking toward me as I left and I said, ‘Don’t be surprised if they tell you how they voted.’ And she said, ‘They’ve already done that.’”
She said she was “really angry” and suspicious that this issue was targeting Republicans.
“I asked the couple, the young women that I talked to and I said, ‘Are you by any chance Republicans?’ She said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘Well so am I.’”
Another voter, Monica Almada, told KNBC-TV that she had the same issue when she tried to cast her ballot at the Disabled American Veterans 73 Vote Center in Woodland Hills.
“My confidence is not the same as it used to be about the voting system,” she told the outlet.
There is no empirical evidence to support that this technical error is targeted toward Republicans, but this incident certainly is raising alarm bells.
The cheat has begun
— Ghimm To (@GhimmTo) September 12, 2021
Not surprised. This state is as corrupt as they come.
— Scribbletarian (@DrinkerFree) September 12, 2021
In response to the KTLA report, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder released a statement.
“The voters who experienced this issue were offered and provided a provisional ballot- the failsafe option to ensure no one is turned away from voting,” it said.
If people are running into issues at their polling places, they should discuss it with the staffers there and then get in touch with their county’s registrar office.
It’s clear that situations like the one in Woodland Hills will only create more distrust in the American electoral process and could result in voters deciding to stay home.
But these incidents should not deter anyone from casting their ballots in the California recall election.