In a snafu that could send conspiracy theorists spiraling into Deep State dementia, about 2,100 L.A. County voters received mail-in ballots Monday that offer no way to cast a vote for President.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office confirmed the bumble to the Los Angeles Times late Monday, admitting that “faulty ballots” were mailed to residents in Woodland Hills.
The botched ballots—which feature a twice-printed list of state propositions but lacks any section to vote for Joe Biden, Donald Trump, or any other presidential hopeful—were sent out as part of an effort to provide mail-in ballots to every one of California’s 21 million registered voters, with 5.6 million of them in L.A. County.
Attorney Christy Gargalis told the Times that she, her husband, and her sister all received the POTUS-less ballots at their Woodland Hills address.
“I’ve always been an in-person voter, so I wasn’t even planning on looking at the ballot until the day I was going to vote,” Gargalis told the Times. “Something told me that this was a different election, a different year, and I just had to check my ballot, and I’m glad I did.”
After checking social media, Gargalis discovered her household was not an isolated case.
“My neighbors on Nextdoor all have the same problem,” she said.
“While this has impacted a very small number of Los Angeles County voters… we nevertheless apologize to those affected by the mistake,” county clerk’s office spokesman Michael Sanchez said. “We are now in the process of alerting all affected voters in this precinct of the error by robocall and email, and tomorrow morning we will be mailing out new, corrected ballots with a letter describing the error.”
Sanchez is telling voters to “discard” the bad ballots and mail in only the accurate ones. “If they have already filled out and mailed their original ballot, we will cancel their original ballot once their new ballot is received,” he said.
Meanwhile, even after this ripple is smoothed out, mail-in voting in California could still prove to be complicated. Election researchers have estimated that in the last decade California elections saw an average of 1.7 percent of mail-in ballots rejected for various reasons. Based on voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election, that average would translate into almost 250,000 ballots not being counted this year.
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