Some early GOP voters who reportedly tried to cast their ballots in the California gubernatorial recall election were told computers showed that they’d already voted, even though they hadn’t.
ABC affiliate KTLA reported the disturbing episode occurred Saturday at a polling place, where Estelle Bender, 88, of West Hills, California, recounted the computer block — and said she wasn’t alone.
Bender told the news outlet the block also happened to friends of hers, two others outside the polling place — all of them Republicans — and "the man next to me was arguing the same thing."
"Gave her this [ballot] and she scanned and said 'you voted,' and I said, 'no, I haven’t'. And she said this has been happening all morning," Bender said of the poll monitor.
She said she was then given a provisional ballot instead, filled it out and "left really angry."
"I’d still like to know how I voted," Bender told KTLA.
In a statement, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office told the news outlet that provisional ballots are a "failsafe option for these kind of glitches" to ensure that everyone’s votes are counted.
"The voters who experienced this issue were offered and provided a provisional ballot — the failsafe option to ensure no one has turned away from voting," the statement said.
"Provisional ballots are regular ballots and once the eligibility of the voter is verified, they are processed and counted. After troubleshooting the issue, the equipment at the locations was replaced and voting continued."
The ballot has two questions for California voters: Should their governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, be recalled from office and, if he is ousted, who should take his place?
According to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times released Friday, 60.1% of likely voters surveyed oppose recalling Newsom compared with 38.5% in favor of it. Fewer than 2% of likely voters remained undecided or declined to answer.
Conservative talk show host Larry Elder is the favorite to become California’s next governor if the recall is successful, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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