L.A. County Moving Forward With New Voting System Despite Fears

L.A. County officials have yet to explain the cause of a massive glitch that wiped more than 100,000 registered voters from the rosters on election day. But they’re already moving on to a sweeping overhaul of the county’s voting system that could yield new uncertainties and cost up to $282 million.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to fund the project Tuesday. The county will partner with Smartmatic, a multinational electronic voting technology company with ties to Venezuela.

County officials see the primary day voting glitch as further evidence of an antiquated system in need of modernization. Critics say the project, which will involve touch-screen ballots and new regional polling places, could mean more confusion and less security. They are particularly distrustful of Smartmatic given its Venezuelan roots.

The county doesn’t have many choices. Modernization is required by federal law and the new system must be up and running by March 2020. Mock elections will begin later this year, with officials committed to testing and retesting the system before it goes live. A large PR drive will then begin to educate the public on how to use the system.


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