Though Republican California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder on Tuesday conceded his battle to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in that state’s recall election, reports suggest that – at least in some precincts – voting irregularities plagued many who turned out to cast their ballots, as KTLA in Los Angeles reports.
The outlet chronicled complaints from a number of voters in the San Fernando Valley who claimed they experienced wrongful attempts to stop them from voting in the recall race, though local election officials asserted that the issue was related to an equipment malfunction that was ultimately resolved.
One polling place at which the problems were said to arise was El Camino Real Charter High School, located in Woodland Hills, and voters there argued that the on-site computers indicated that they had already cast their ballots, though that was not actually the case.
According to 88-year-old Estelle Bender of West Hills, she, along with a number of other voters, encountered the exact same difficulty when attempting to vote, leaving her with no option but to cast a provisional ballot.
Stating that, according to her own personal knowledge, many of the voters who were told they had already voted identify as Republicans, a fact which has prompted suspicion in Bender’s mind. “I’d still like to know how I voted,” she declared, wryly.
According to Los Angeles CBS affiliate station KCAL, Mike Sanchez from the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office downplayed the severity of the situation, saying, “The voters who experienced the issue were offered and provided a provisional ballot – the failsafe option to ensure no one is turned away from voting. Provisional ballots are regular ballots and once the eligibility of the voter is verified, they are processed and counted.”
Earlier this month, the Associated Press noted that a group of election security experts sent a letter to the California secretary of state urging officials there to conduct a rigorous audit of the recall election process in order to guard against malicious attempts to manipulate outcomes, signaling real concerns about the specific methods and equipment slated to be used for ballot collection and tabulation.
Despite his acknowledgment of defeat in Tuesday’s election, Elder himself earlier this week set the stage for possible challenges to the veracity of the results, launching a website called “Stop California Fraud” for the purpose of collecting reports of suspected vote fraud and to gather signatures on a petition calling for a full review of the election outcome, as the Daily Mail reported.
Even in admitting that Newsom appeared to have emerged victorious, Elder hinted that there may be more news yet to be made from his camp, whether in terms of exposing fraud committed in this contest or by taking the current governor on once again when he is likely to seek re-election next year, simply telling supporters simply that they should “stay tuned.”