FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Where are the Missing California Primary Votes?

Richmond California is a refinery town in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is also where there is a diverse working class community with a strong Richmond Progressive Alliance which previously elected a Green Party Mayor. Bernie Sanders visited the city and actively supported the populist movement in February 2014 making it likely that Bernie Sanders would receive strong support in Richmond.

My daughter is a school psychologist in Richmond’s local school system. Here is her experience yesterday in the California Primary Election:

“Never have I felt so much that my vote doesn’t count!

My Richmond, CA polling place at 1340 Marina Way South was an absolute mess.

1.The location was different from every other time I’ve voted out here and Google initially mapped me to an abandoned patch of dirt next to a park.

2. After I eventually figured out how to get there, myself and few other people waited in the wrong line for about 10-15 minutes, because the signs weren’t appropriately marked.

3. Finally I get to the table with ballots and I’m told they ran out of Democratic ballots.

4. NONE of the people working there with the exception of 1 woman, that I don’t think even worked there (!) could explain to me how the stupid NXD ballot process works and even then I was still confused.

5. I had to ASK for the other ballot with the prop measures and senate vote because the guy forgot to give it to me!

6. After I finished filling out my ballots, a woman takes my ballot with the prop measures and slides it in the machine, then LOOKS at my presidential ballot vote and stuffs it in a box that is filled to the brim with other provisional ballots. I asked her when it would be counted and she said in a few weeks.

7. Before I even get home the opposing candidate has been proclaimed winner.

I already reported all this BS to Bernie’s voter complaint hotline, but I’m ready for a revolution y’all.”

That experience was shared by many others in California. This LA Times story is headlined: “It was just chaos: Broken machines, incomplete voter rolls leave some wondering whether their ballots will count”. The report documents in writing and video the experience of numerous people with the observation that “experts said the culprit for Tuesday’s voting problems seems to be a confluence of factors — old voting machines, a competitive election that has drawn new voters, plus complex state voting laws that can be hard for poll volunteers and voters to follow.”

Huffington Post reported “LA Primary Mired in Voting Problems.” Across the city many people were forced to vote “provisionally” due to machine breakdowns and other problems.

Prior to the election there were reports of poll workers being misinformed in official training sessions.

As of noon the day after the election, the total count is shown to be 1.94M for Hillary and 1.50M for Bernie for total vote count of 3.44Million votes. This contrasts with a total vote count of over 5 Million in the 2008 California primary election. Where are all the missing votes? How many provisional votes have not yet been counted?

One might argue that the 2008 California was held on “Super Tuesday” in February and that generated more participation. However given the huge excitement over the Sanders campaign and high interest in the election race, it’s hard to explain such a large decline when the population has increased. One might argue that news reports that Hillary Clinton had already won the race, broadcast on the eve of the election, reduced participation. This is evidence of media bias and spin but it’s hard to see it suppressing the participation of Sanders supporters who came out in tens of thousands day after day in cities throughout the state. Huge crowds of Sanders supporters waited for hours to participate enthusiastically in Stockton, Vallejo, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Diego and beyond.   It’s hard to see them being fooled or dissuaded from voting by a dubious AP story possibly promoted by the Clinton campaign.

Sixteen years ago, with Al Gore having little contest to be the Democratic nominee, 3.2M voters participated in the California Primary race. At that time relatively few progressives or independents were participating in the Democratic Primary race.

In short, it does not seem credible that there are 30% fewer votes, over 1.5 million, this year compared with 8 years ago. How many provisional ballots remain uncounted? Going back to my daughter’s experience in Richmond, how many boxes filled to the brim with provisional ballots are there throughout the state? Where are the missing ballots?

More articles by:

Rick Sterling is a retired aerospace engineer who now does research/writing on international issues. He can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
George Wuerthner
The Highest Use of Public Forests: Carbon Storage
Ralph Nader
It is Time to Rediscover Print Newspapers
Nick Licata
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Rachel Smolker – Anne Peterman
The GE American Chestnut: Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?
Sam Pizzigati
Can Society Survive Without Empathy?
Manuel E. Yepe
China and Russia in Strategic Alliance
Patrick Walker
Green New Deal “Climate Kids” Should Hijack the Impeachment Conversation
Colin Todhunter
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India
Robert Koehler
The Armed Bureaucracy
David Swanson
Anyone Who’d Rather Not be Shot Should Read this Book
Jonathan Power
To St. Petersburg With Love
Marc Levy
How to Tell a Joke in Combat
Thomas Knapp
Pork is Not the Problem
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming and Solar Minimum: a Response to Renee Parsons
Jill Richardson
Straight People Don’t Need a Parade
B. R. Gowani
The Indian Subcontinent’s Third Partition
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: The Black Body in LA
Jonah Raskin
‘69 and All That Weird Shit
Michael Doliner
My Surprise Party
Stephen Cooper
The Fullness of Half Pint
Charles R. Larson
Review: Chris Arnade’s “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America”
David Yearsley
Sword and Sheath Songs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail