Why My Vote Might Not Be Counted

echo park voting elysian elementary poll primary super tuesday ballot non-partisan

UPDATE: It is still contested whether or not these votes (such as mine, and two of my three colleagues who also voted Democratic on a Nonpartisan ballot) will be disqualified. Obama campaign lawyer Stephen Kaufman defines two issues decline-to-state voters are experiencing today, one statewide and one only in LA County. CA campaign chair Buffy Wicks just sent out an URGENT UPDATE, the Clinton campaign has still said nothing beyond: “False reports about voting problems in LA are being drudged up – Everything is going smoothly in LA.”

Despite all the preparation I did before going down the street to Elysian Park Elementary to vote this morning I missed something HUGE. Perhaps I should have read my literature closer, or at least this blog post:

Thousands of non-partisan voters’ ballots in Democratic Primary could go uncounted if voters fail to follow instructions carefully.

As a registered decline-to-state voter, I was aware that I could choose either a Democratic or American Independent ballot. I had no idea, however, that I would be handed a punch card that said only “non-partisan.” Furthermore, at the top of the card there apparently was an additional and crucial bubble on it, signifying whether the non-partisan was voting for the American Independent candidate or one of the Democratic candidates. City officials are getting the word out to citizens now, but it’s a little to late. This extra bubble is ONLY for DTS voters in Los Angeles County.

This is only one of my concerns. Despite SoS Debra Bowen doing the right thing and recalling all electronic voting machines until they’re proven reliable, the Inkavote machine used to verify and count my ballot was apparently broken! As I went to slip my punch card in, the poll worker told me, “it’s broken, just give it to me and I’ll put it in the box myself later.” What?!? You’ve got 6 months to fix this, Bowen.

OK. That’s my Super Tuesday story for now. I hope you can all make it down to Seven Grand later to watch the returns and celebrate my birthday! Let’s party.

Hollywood, D.C.: A Once in a Lifetime Kinda Day

It’s a chilly morning in LA — would be very hard to get out of bed if I weren’t already lightheaded pondering the exhilirating hours and days of work and hobby ahead. With the help of rising-star political reporter Jeremy Oberstein, my team at LAist is prepared to whoop everybody’s ass at full coverage of today’s democratic debate which CNN has — as they will — already dubbed something like Clinton vs. Obama in Hollywood.

There will be liveblogging (it’s live here). Here’s a quick link to LAist’s election coverage. I’m early to the day job as my eyes will surely be all over the place later this afternoon coordinating this effort.

I never expected a crucial, world-be-watching, future-of-our-great-grandchildren impacting, in advance of 24-state primary election event to fall at my feet ANYTIME in my life. So I’m not taking this lightly. And there’s also the fact that I’ve had a feeling it would come to this great day for my man Obama since my pre-grad school days in much-chillier Chicago.

Oh, and after you vote Tuesday, join us at Seven Grand for cocktails (first round on LAist & Answer with Action). We’ll celebrate, democracy, Super Tuesday, and, uh, I’ll also be celebrating my birthday.

Here’s a look back at Obama’s first visit to LA on his presidential campaign, last February 20. One of a few clips I came out of the event with: