What's going on with Los Angeles' voting machines?

Matt Drudge reports a scary snafu in California.

Published February 5, 2008 9:30PM (EST)

In an extremely vague but typically scary note the Drudge Report says, "The board of elections failed to deliver voting equipment to polling places ALL OVER LOS ANGELES... Developing..."

What? No voting machines in Los Angeles? I just called the county's election office and am waiting to hear back from a press officer.

According to the Los Angeles blog LAist, though, there are sporadic problems in L.A. but people are getting to vote.

John Ennis, one of the founders of the vote-watching group Video the Vote, says that the biggest problem so far involves independents who want to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. Poll officials seem confused over whether they're allowed to do this. (As I wrote yesterday, unaffiliated voters in California are allowed to vote for Democrats, but not for Republicans.)

A reader tells LAist about one problem at a local polling place -- the optical-scanner vote-counting machine wasn't working. The reader says: "The staff was overwhelmed and frankly didn't know what to do. Two folks said 'Get a Mac.' It was funny and sad, and scary."

Another reader says, "There was no line at my polling place, very smooth. And there was no line at In-n-Out in Sherman Oaks. Very odd!"

Beyond L.A., machine problems caused a delay in voting in Hoboken. Gawker points to a funnier voting snafu: A few misguided voters in Wisconsin showed up to vote there this morning, a couple weeks before that state's Feb. 19 primary.

See any problems at your polling place? Let us know in comments.

Update: In a note to the press, Hillary Clinton's campaign says: "False reports about voting problems in LA are being drudged up -- Everything is going smoothly in LA."

Update again: The L.A. Times looks into glitches -- finds a few, but notes that the election's mainly running smoothly.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

MORE FROM Farhad Manjoo

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2008 Elections