The 2018 California Primary — A Printing Error? Really?


We are being told that 118,522 voters were left off the printed voter rolls in Los Angeles County due to a printing issue during the 2018 California Primary.

Printing issue? Let’s walk through this together.

> Over 1/3 of all precincts in LA County were affected. 1530 total precincts.

> 2.3% of all voters were affected.

> An average of over 77 voters per precinct were not in the voter rolls.

This had to cause long lines, confusion, people who just didn’t hang around long enough to vote. This changed the results of this election. It was too big a mistake not to.

This was stated as a printing issue. Not human error, or a software error, or even a database (voter registration file) error. A printing issue.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Computers and peripherals are funny things. They do just what they are told. Unless they malfunction. Typically when a printer malfunctions it is a memory, buffer or cabling issue. Most times these issues cause the same results.

The printer prints fine for a while, loses its place, prints erroneous characters paper feeds blank sheets. We have all experienced a failed print job. You would know right then and there you had a problem. So what happened in LA County?

There are multiple reports that whole areas of precincts – blocks of families, neighborhoods — were not on the rolls. In other cases, some members of a household were not in the rolls while others were.

That is not a printing issue.

So you go and distribute this huge volume of printed poll books throughout LA County, and it blows up. There is a problem.

If they didn’t already know the poll books issued that day were bad how in the HELL were they able to figure out the exact number of people that were missing from these poll books?

The poll books are spread throughout LA County. How could it be a printing issue?

And here is the million dollar question:

If you had a way, on election day itself, to determine — right down to the person — who exactly was affected by this, why wasn’t that same procedure used BEFORE the election to verify that the poll books you were using were legitimate?

Here is my concern. Looking at the symptoms of what happened, it looks to me like the printing was fine. The source — the voter registration database — was corrupt.

On election day there is suddenly a huge issue. You run a report off of the voter registration database you used to print the poll books. Then you load a previous image of the database and run a report. Then you compare them. That would show you exactly the kind of answer California seemed to pull from thin air.

So what did happen in the 2018 California Primary?

We are constantly being fed the short easy answers from our election officials. That is not good enough. Not now. Not with what is going on in our world.

They failed. They failed Los Angeles County. This answer is not good enough. Don’t tell us that everyone filled out provisional ballots and no harm no foul. Bullshit.

Tell the candidate who lost by a few handfuls of votes in an affected precinct that all is good.

We deserve better. We must demand better.

Written by Mike Farb

Read More Commentary about US Election Systems:

Our Election System — The Shell Game

Wisconsin Recount Summary — How to Know You’re Being Screwed

Democracy Dies in the Dark

Pennsylvania Rabbit Hole Part I

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Author: Mike Farb