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In the small-government-vs.-large-government debate, Los Angeles County has scored a big point for smaller government with its handling of sample ballots for the Nov. 8 election.

The county – with some 10 million residents, 5.1 of them registered voters – had a deadline of Oct. 18 to get its sample ballots in the mail so voters can know what they’re voting for in this election, notable for its record complexity.

But as of a week ago, some 400,000 county voters hadn’t received their ballots; on Friday county workers acknowledged some still hadn’t gone out, blaming a surge is registrations and the scope of the job.

The county contracts out the sample ballot printing and distribution job to the Merrill Corporation, but the office of County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk Dean Logan supervises it.

We suggest that, post-election, county supervisors take another look at the process, the contractor and Logan’s office.

Receiving sample ballots a week before an election, particularly one as complex as this, is not acceptable in any California county. Los Angeles County needs to put a plan into place soon to ensure this doesn’t happen again in two years.

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