I have heard many stories from voters who had or witnessed challenging and difficult voting experiences last Tuesday and also a number of reported problems with voting technology on Election Day.
Many pollworkers have also written to the California Voter Foundation to express the probems they encountered.
If you have a story you want to share, good or bad, please post the details in the "Comments" section of my blog. Please include your name, and the city or town and county where your experience took place. I will review these comments before allowing them to be visible on my blog.
If you just want to share your story and keep it private, or if you want your post to be anonymous let me know. Please note that I will not post your comment if it doesn't have a name or email address I can use to verify the story.
You can also email your stories directly to me at kimalex - at - cal voter - dot - org.
Here are some of the stories I have heard so far.
News organizations reported that 140 electronic voting machines in about 10 percent of the county's polling places were not operating due to a coding problem that prevented the machines from contacting the central system. The county sent out technicians to fix what was described as a "glitch" and election staff stated the machines were operating again within an hour and a half. The pollworkers reportedly passed out paper ballots while the voting machines were offline.
More at http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_29988816/san-mateo-county-elections-officials-switch-paper-ballots
Various problems were reported in Los Angeles, the state's most populous county.
There was a systemwide voting equipment problem in the county's 4,000+ polling places. The machine used to check for overvotes required a password that pollworkers had not been provided. Pollworkers preparing to set up polling places for a 7 a.m. opening were instead calling the county election office trying to learn the password. Then they could not get through because thousands of people were trying to call the hotline simultaneously. It was reported that by 7 a.m. the county had issued a notice to all the polling sites with the needed password. The scanner wasn't critical to the voting process but pollworkers weren't provided with a contingency plan and the glitch delayed the opening of all the county's thousands of polling places on Election Day.
More from the LA Times here: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-voting-problems-20160607-snap-htmlstory.html
And here is a message from one LA County pollworker who contacted me:
On Tuesday I was a pollworker at a combined precinct location in Chatsworth, California. None of the three precincts were able to get their voting machines operating promptly due to an "enter password" message. No password had been required in the past and no mention of it was included in the County training or in the manuals. The telephone lines were jammed so no immediate help was available to us. The County finally sent out a broadcast voice message about 7:00 a.m. (about the time the polls were to open) to all the Inspector mobile telephones with the password. It can take ten minutes to initialize and set up the machines so this was unacceptable error by the County of Los Angeles and should be investigated. Apparently thousands of the 4,698 precincts had a similar problem.KPCC Radio in Pasadena took lots of calls from confused and upset voters - so many that they have decided to hold a forum where voters can come and talk about their voting experiences. It will take place at KPCC's auditorium in Pasadena 7:30 - 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13 - register online at http://www.scpr.org/events/2016/07/13/2023/hack-the-vote-making-voting-easier .
The Election Protection coalition issued a news release on Election Night summarizing problems voters reported to its hotline from a number of states on June 7. As their news release notes, more than half the calls they took came from California voters. The release details specific problems in Los Angeles and Contra Costa counties and is online at http://www.866ourvote.org/newsroom/releases/june-7-presidential-primary-elections.