LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CBS NEWS) — California’s primaries are arguably the most-watched of Tuesday night, but an issue that left more than 118,000 voters off rosters in Los Angeles County already complicated the state’s complicated election night.
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan told CBS Los Angeles voters whose names did not appear on the roster at their polling place would be given provisional ballots, after a printing issue affected the voter rolls of more than one in four precincts. A total of 118,522 names were omitted.
California’s House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday are being dubbed a “jungle primary,” or a nonpartisan blanket primary as it’s more formally known. It puts all candidates together in one big primary regardless of what party they belong to. That means it’s possible that one party has no options on the ballot come November.
Tuesday night, the Villaraigosa for Governor campaign called on Logan to keep vote centers open through Friday, June 8 after names were omitted from the rolls in at least 1,530 polling locations.
“Anyone who is turned away should be allowed to return to a vote center and make sure their vote is counted,” said Campaign Manager Pat Dennis. “This election is too important, and every voice should be heard.”
The Villaraigosa campaign is also calling on California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to investigate how this unprecedented number of voters were omitted, as well as calling for vote centers to remain open in any other county with reported errors or omissions.
But the California races might not all be decided Tuesday night, or even Wednesday morning — in California, anyone can vote by mail, and most do. As long as the ballot is postmarked by Tuesday, the vote is valid. In some close contests, those votes could be deciding factors.
California is of particular importance to the Democrats in their quest to take back the House. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won seven of the districts held by House Republicans. The Democrats have their sights set on turning as many of these seats blue as possible. Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, faces challenge from the state Senate leader Kevin de León. A number of Republicans in California aren’t returning to Congress after 2018, leaving their seats as possible pick-ups for Democrats.
President Trump tweeted his support of California Republicans House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as Devin Nunes.
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial races are just as interesting.
Mr. Trump has endorsed candidate John Cox over GOP challenger state Assemblyman Travis Allen. The choice could splinter the Republican vote, which might lead to two Democrats on this November’s ballot.
The Democrats running for governor are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California state Treasurer John Chiang and former state head of schools Delaine Eastin.