Stories of California voters going to the polls to vote, or to register to vote, and coming away empty handed or being told they cannot, are already starting. With California’s early voting process, along with a recently passed law allowing Californians to register to vote on the day of the Election, poor training or lack of consistent training of poll workers, it appears “everything is subject to change.”
Monday a California Globe reader contacted us and explained her situation: Her adult daughter went to register to vote Republican and took her old ballot with her that was non partisan (no place to vote for Trump on it). She went to her polling place in Northern California and the man in charge told her that on Voting Day people only vote for the Democrat they want, and in November she can vote for Trump. She left without getting to register Republican.
This is just one of many stories we are hearing. Many others report not receiving their vote-by-mail ballots, and when they call the Registrar of Voters, are told they have to go to a polling place and vote in person. Others say they still aren’t properly registered with the political party they chose.
California Globe explained to her that Senate Bill 207, called the Voter’s Choice Act, to permit a voter to change their party preference or update their residence address without reregistering to vote has been passed in the California Legislature, and was just signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom February 13th, two weeks ahead of the March 3rd Primary Election.
The Globe told her to contact the Secretary of State and her County Registrar of Voters immediately with this. She did, and received very positive responses.
Another Northern California voter reported this Tuesday morning: “I tried to vote but they couldn’t find my name. I’ve NEVER missed a voting day. And while I was waiting for them to straighten out my situation, 6 or 7 people all came in saying they never got their mail in ballots. My mother-in-law works at another polling place so I’ll check in with her later today. This looks like a preamble to massive voter fraud.”
Last week, we spoke with G.V. Scott, a longtime election worker who reports that California’s Primary Election Day could look like the Iowa primary debacle, thanks to the confusion over SB 207, and the lack of consistent training (or any training)going on at Registrar of Voters offices.
Scott said January 31, the county started training election workers on SB 207, even though the bill had not yet been signed into law. Scott said she sent letters to the Secretary of State and the county, questioning why they were training on a bill not yet signed into law, to no avail.
Scott said she and several others visited Santa Clara County Registrar Of Voters on 2/21/20 asking to view Policies & Procedures for the new March 3 Voter’s Choice Act. Shannon Bushey, Registrar of Voters, County of Santa Clara and her staff told us, “We have nothing you can view now.” Bushey said, “We don’t have everything in a document, there’s a lot of things that we just do every election, we know we’re doing it. So you are not going to find every single every single step of everything in a policy and procedure. But there are many procedures.”
“So many procedures they can’t show us any of them?” Scott asked.
“Shannon Bushey offered us a copy of the Registrar Of Voters organizational chart – which she never provided.”
“I advised Ms. Bushey that Gov Code 6250 et. Seq. says if we arrive during business hours and ask to view documents we should be given the documents to review. Bushey stated “ It’s definitely not doable right now.”
Scott said election observers have observed confusion at several Vote Centers. At Gilroy Vote Center (Grass Farms precinct #0905) had 2 election Leads replaced because one quit, one is no longer working, but he was upset with lack of training of election procedures and was removed from the vote center.
“Other vote centers noted pens bleeding thru vote paper which is different from the vote stock used in training, and election workers observed processing voters incorrectly.”
“Election software was never updated as told in training – so Vote centers are processing Conditional Voters in the Epoll pads on screens that say ‘Provisional’ instead of ‘Conditional.’ Still glitches in the software, its not accepting new voters properly as of Wednesday 2/26/20.”
While California has the highest number of registered voters at 15,690,000, the state has the second-lowest percentage of registered voters when compared to its total population of nearly 40 million. Registered voters in California make up only 51.90% of its total population, according to World Population Review’s report on all 50 states.
Many reports of voting irregularities, such as this Tweet:
#IVoted in @santamonicacity for the #CaliforniaPrimary and almost every single voter, like myself, had to vote with a #provisionalballot because the automated system couldn’t sync up voter signatures with whatever @CASOSvote has on file. cc: @AlexPadilla4CA @CA_Dem @Greg_Palast
A new hashtag is trending: #CAriggedAgain
Other commenters were not happy: “Your vote, then, along with others, has been suppressed. Provisional votes will not be counted. File a complaint and make some calls or noise…go back to the polling center, you cannot accept this without a fight,” another Tweet replied.
Another said this: “Voting Center downs all over the city . My local place sent over a hundred people away saying if they wanted to vote they had to go elsewhere the whole system was down. Neighbor had same thing happen at another local voting center.”
My own vote-by-mail ballot arrived in such bad shape I could not use it. I went to my local polling station on March 3, explained, and received an electronic card to use the touchscreen voting system. It was seamless, and I was able to print out my ballot, and turn it in. However, the Secretary of State computer system was down when I arrived, and had been for some time. It took quite a long time for it to come back up. One polling station worker said that they had been opened for three days without a blip, and then on Primary Election Day, it went down.