More than 2,000 LA County voters received mail-in ballots with a very egregious flaw: There was no way to vote for U.S. president.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office confirmed late on Monday afternoon that about 2,100 “faulty ballots” have been mailed earlier that day to residents in the Woodland Hills area.
The major botched effort was part of a campaign to mail 21 million ballots to registered California voters. About 5.6 million of those voters are in Los Angeles County. State law mandates that absentee ballots must be mailed 29 days ahead of the Nov. 3, 2020, election.
“While this has impacted a very small number of Los Angeles County voters … we nevertheless apologize to those affected by the mistake,” said Michael Sanchez, a spokesman for the county clerk’s office.
Attorney Christy Gargalis, a Woodland Hills resident, was shocked on Monday afternoon when she received her ballot in the mail, along with her husband, Jason Scupine, who is also a lawyer.
“I’ve always been an in-person voter, so I wasn’t even planning on looking at the ballot until the day I was going to vote,” Christy Gargalis said.
After failing to see a presidential ticket on her ballot, Gargalis checked her copy against those of her husband and sister, who lives at the same residence.
All three ballots had a list of state propositions printed twice, on pages four and five. But no way to vote for Joe Biden or President Trump … or Kanye West for that matter or anyone else looking to be Commander in Chief for the next four years.
“Something told me that this was a different election, a different year, and I just had to check my ballot, and I’m glad I did,” said Gargalis.
Christy said she reached out to state and county officials; the latter informed Gargalis that they would be sending out new ballots soon. She also turned to Facebook and other social media.
“My neighbors on Nextdoor all have the same problem,” she said.
Even though Mrs. Gargalis filed a complaint, only her husband has received an email update from the county clerk that a new ballot would be sent out on Tuesday morning.
“We are now in the process of alerting all affected voters in this precinct of the error by robocall and email, and tomorrow morning we will be mailing out new, corrected ballots with a letter describing the error,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez has advised voters to “discard” the faulty ballots and mail in only the accurate ones.
“If they have already filled out and mailed their original ballot,” Sanchez said, “we will cancel their original ballot once their new ballot is received.”
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