Supervisor Hahn Releases Statement on Results of Investigation into June 5 Election Problems

Supervisor Hahn Releases Statement on Results of Investigation into June 5 Election Problems

Supervisors Hahn and Kuehl Instruct Registrar-Recorder to Implement Reforms

Los Angeles, CA—Today, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn released a statement regarding the results of an investigation into the problems voters experienced during the June 5, 2018 election in which over 118,000 voters were left off of the voter roster. Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl have authored a motion to be heard at the upcoming Board meeting instructing the Registrar-Recorder’s office to implement reforms to fix this problem moving forward.

“The independent investigation has shown that the problems voters experienced during the June 5 election had nothing to do with foul play but were the result of a software error,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.  “While I am relieved that this was not a cyberattack, what happened was unacceptable and we are going to ensure that the Registrar-Recorder’s Office fixes this issue so that this never happens again. Now more than ever, we need to ensure the public’s trust in our election system.”

On the June 5th Primary Election, 118,509 names of registered voters were omitted from the printed rosters in precincts across Los Angeles County. After the election, an extensive independent review by IBM Security Services identified software misconfigurations—not a cyberattack—as the root cause of the voter rosters issue.

In its investigation of the omissions, IBM found that formatting changes in the statewide voter database made it incompatible with the software the County uses to generate the printed lists for polling places.  IBM also investigated a 21-minute outage of the County’s voter information website, LAVote.net, on the evening of the election after the polls had closed.  Once again, it found no evidence of a cyberattack, and attributed the outage to heavy demand on the website.

Given these findings, it is imperative that the election process continues to be closely monitored with additional quality controls put into place before the next election.

Supervisor Hahn and Supervisor Kuehl’s motion will instruct the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to implement the following:

  1. Work with the Secretary of State to update existing software to ensure that the state and local voter databases are compatible;
  2. Implement new quality control practices for Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk staff;
  3. Resolve deficiencies in the system used to create the printed voter roster; and
  4. In consultation with the Internal Services Department, increase capacity and change configurations on LAVote.net to accommodate periods of high demand.