LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County voters don’t need to worry about a rigged election, no matter what Donald Trump says, according to Registrar- Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.
Logan oversees what he calls the largest and most complex county election jurisdiction in the country, with more than 500 political districts and 5.1 million registered voters. He spent part of Monday talking to Reddit users and media ahead of the Oct. 24 deadline to register to vote.
Residents vote locally and each county and state has its own independent voting system, making a nationwide hack virtually impossible, Logan said, noting that the equipment used to tally votes in Los Angeles County is not connected to the internet.
“It means there is no single point of interference for someone who wanted to disrupt the elections process, especially on a national level,” Logan told CBS2.
As for manually manipulating the vote, Logan pointed out that ballots are transferred from polling places to the registrar’s office by sheriff’s deputies.
Logan spent an hour on the Reddit website answering questions ranging from when voters can expect mail-in ballots to why voter turnout is so low.
One Reddit user asked about possible intimidation at the polls. Logan pointed to guidelines at www.lavote.net for poll monitoring and asked voters to report anything out of compliance with those rules.
“Any disruption of voters or intimidation of voters is unacceptable,” Logan said. “Voting is about access, representation and participation — it shouldn’t be feared.”
Another user thought he might write in a candidate for president, but wanted to make sure it wouldn’t affect his other choices.
“If I write in anyone (even if not an official name) for president will the rest of my vote not count?” the user asked.
“Yes, the remainder of your ballot will absolutely count,” Logan replied. “When a ballot has a write-in vote, the ballot has to be held on Election Night for processing so we can make sure you didn’t mark the ballot and (also) include a write-in candidate. So, ballots with write-in votes definitely count, but they are not processed/counted on Election Night.”
Another user who volunteered as a poll clerk during the June primary asked, “In a country struggling to encourage voter turnout and engagement, how do you expect CA voters to feel like their votes matter when the elections are poorly run by overworked volunteers with little oversight?”
Logan sought to reassure the user that more supervisors have been trained for the general election and some of the particular challenges of the primary won’t apply in November.
Asked whether mail-in ballots will be counted, Logan was adamant.
“Any valid and timely received vote by mail ballot will be counted and included in the certified election results. This is a legal requirement and occurs in ALL elections. I am always surprised by this question, so PLEASE help spread the word!” he said.
More information on the county’s Nov. 8 election can be found at www.lavote.net.