We all are witnessing the complete and abject failure of the County Clerk’s office in the planning, computer program layout, the arbitrary shifting from precinct voting places to Poling Centers, the lack of organization, the untimely distribution of even the descriptions of the measures and the candidate statements (which we all paid thousands to get into the mail-out) and the horrendous lines that prevented so many people from voting. (I saw so many small families not able to keep their children in a line for 2 hours, and just turned around, gave up and went home without voting). (One of the voting Centers was 20’x20′ and housed the voting machines plus 30 workers, and did not allow for more than a few people to enter.)
It is more than clear that the COUNTY FAILED and continues to fail, as we still do not have a completed accounting for the vote from last Tuesday.
The 10 day period to vote, disenfranchised so many people who thought they would vote for their favorite presidential candidate only to see that candidate back out of the race before the vote on Tuesday. (wasted votes) This system is wrong, utterly and hopelessly wrong.
The computer screen where only 4 candidates were displayed on the first page, and the very questionable display of candidates, which did not appear to be alphabetical or any other mathematical method, seemed politicized, should have been altered before we even had the 1st District Council Race.
As a member of the Long Beach Democratic Club, and the Long Beach Democratic Women’s Study Club, official letters were sent to the County Clerk outlining our concerns. Nothing changed. How hard would it have been to hire an IT person to change the configuration such that one could not go to the NEXT button until one had seen all the candidates?
This situation is not only shameful but very dangerous. When the people no longer trust our elections and the very system we use, then democracy starts to erode. People without faith in a good and solid system with integrity will not bother to show up and vote.
The implications of the County Clerk’s FAIL is unparalleled.
In any organization or business when something this onerous happens and given such opportunities to correct the situation along the way and for such a long period of time, we do not give second chances. We cannot afford to make the County Clerk’s office a guaranteed job security position. (So for heaven’s sake don’t let Dean Logan near anything to correct this fail)
It is time to dismiss the County Clerk, Dean Logan.
It is time to dismiss this new system and create something that works, learning from the abysmal mistakes of this present County Clerk.
We have only a few months before the Presidential Election. We must get this right, and get it right NOW.
I propose the City Council of Long Beach hurriedly agendize the return of elections to our own City Clerk, Monique De La Garza, who has a reputation of honesty, integrity, and competence for the 20 years she has served us.
Let’s quickly have the staff tell us how much it will cost to purchase new voting machines (since all the old ones no longer qualify) and how soon we can get them.
Our City Clerk has done elections for us with few glitches over all these years, and those glitches were minor at best and easily and immediately correctable.
Elections are more important than Pools, Piers, Median Strips, Road Diets, Roundabouts or any other project this City has in mind.
The faith of the electorate is at stake here.
I propose the City Council send a unanimous vote of no-confidence to the County and demand action. And for the record, I believe that all the monies spent by every candidate and every measure supporter should be immediately refunded. ( Technically the County states it was within the law, but the results were hideous and did not provide the assurances we were given.) The sending of candidate statements over a week after the mail-in ballots were sent is unforgivable. I believe we would argue in court quite effectively against the County and WIN.
It is time for this City Council to piggyback onto the lawsuit brought by the City of Beverly Hills to hold the County liable.
If anyone thinks these suggestions are not worthy, I would like to hear from you. I cannot in good conscience think of more effective remediation for the damage done by the County Clerk.