San Bernardino’s Ex-Registrar Talks Voting Concerns

The former Registrar of Voters for San Bernardino County is expressing some concerns about San Bernardino’s preparedness ahead of election changes in 2020.

Michael Scarpello, who worked for the county from Aug. 2011 until July 2018, spoke to Highland Community News about his worries. These include outdated elections equipment and machinery, misprints that occurred on ballots last year, cuts to early and after-hours voting, and the cancellation of a plan for more ballot drop-off locations in the county.

Scarpello also complained that a new ballot sorting machine he approved was cancelled after he left office.

“It’s sitting on a pallet in a warehouse somewhere,” he told Highland News. He added that a plan to allow voters to track their ballots was also nixed after he left.

“The bad news is that the Legislature has now mandated that service, and now the county is going to have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that service they could have had for free.”

What Scarpello would not discuss is his abrupt departure, which occurred some 100 days before the November election. Scarpello has previously said he was forced to resign due to differences with county leadership, specifically the county’s Chief Operating Officer Leonard Hernandez.

Although Scarpello has raised a number of questions about the county’s voting systems and cybersecurity, County Spokesman David Wert has said his departure “had nothing to do with the integrity of election and registration activities during his tenure.