Betty Arenson | Failed Rollout of Obamacare Duplicated

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

Too many L.A. County voters found the new voting system calamitous. The machines failed and poll workers were either uninformed or just flat lied to the voters. All in all this new procedure had the success of the Obamacare rollout. 

An admitted $300 million of hard-working taxpayer dollars were spent and it’s shocking that this development has reportedly been in the works for 10 years! Now, they’ll spend more for the patchwork fixes. 

One big problem is the L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan. In addition to the ill-trained poll staff it appears no serious test run was performed for the new system. And why start in a county this size? 

Another problem is the green light given to the DMV to automatically stick names on the voter rolls when getting a driver’s license and, without permission, relegating people to no-party-preference status versus their already chosen party.

Several friends told me they were dropped off of the voter rolls in the 2018 election. These are people who have lived in their homes for decades and had made no changes to any part of their registrations. This practice continued on to this 2020 election.

I’ve been a registered voter in L.A. County for many years. I received my usual mail-in ballot, which I order in case something unforeseen occurs. I then surrender the ballot at the poll in exchange for a REAL ballot; not provisional/conditional. Last week I did just that after marking through the circles to avoid any fraudulent activity down the road. I then sat with a worker to learn my name could not be located. It mattered not that I brought in a valid mail-in ballot! 

I was told to re-register, which I unhappily did, and regretted doing so as soon as I did it! I should have gone to a different center with different machines. However, voters should not have to do that. Plus, my mail-in ballot was gone. At the time I re-registered, I demanded and was promised a real ballot. After the charade of voting, my ballot was marked provisional! No doubt that vote will never see the light of day. Also, it must be told that the center I went to was sent voter guides in every language EXCEPT ENGLISH!

There it is: in-your-face voter suppression. 

A friend of mine, “Shelley,” was told “Republicans don’t have a primary and Trump isn’t on the ballot.” Shelley, being well-informed and not a wallflower, got that rectified forthwith.

Dean Logan’s poll worker training is a travesty.

Another friend of mine was unable to vote because the ballot ended before there was any list of Republican candidates. He waited one and a half hours for the machine to be fixed. Is the goal to irritate and inconvenience voters so they’ll just give up and leave…more voter suppression?

There are Facebook entries of people having one problem after another. One local man said a poll worker handed him his Republican ballot, told him to fill it out, bring it back and she’d “shred it.” 

In the 2008 president election, in Philadelphia, the New Black Panthers stood outside poll entrances dressed in their customary black garb, carrying chains and a night stick. The intention, goal and results were obvious but they were never prosecuted upon orders from then-Attorney General Eric Holder. L.A. County’s suppression is less obvious than the NBP, but the consequences replicate.

The negative experiences are so rampant that L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn called for an investigation into the debacle, including voter suppression. The next day Supervisor Kathryn Barger joined in. The problem is they want a more local “independent investigation.” That will not happen. The investigating firm will be hired by the county or the Secretary of State; the dog-and-pony show will ensue with vague findings, all will be promised to fix the failings and no one will be held accountable. 

The real answer is an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Nothing less will do and I’ll work to see if it can take place.

If you were one of the disenfranchised, it’s wise to file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department at: 

For the California Secretary of State it is: 

In my opinion filing with the latter is a waste of time, but it’s available.

It’s reasonable to ask who had the contract to manufacture the malfunctioning machines. Somebody’s college friend or brother-in-law? Who set them up? Somebody’s buddy or nephew? 

Now the 25th District of California faces an election in less than two months and another six months after that. If anyone thinks there is any real change forthcoming, please do not be naive. Registrar Logan’s response to this menacing failure was: “I’m sorry.”

My faith in this process, as sanctioned by this state’s Super Majority, is a generous 2 on a scale of 1-10. 

Betty Arenson is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among several local Republicans.

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