ABC affiliate KTLA reported the disturbing episode transpired Saturday at a polling place, where Estelle Bender, 88, of West Hills, California, recounted the computer block — and said she wasn’t the only one.
Bender told the news outlet the block also occurred to friends of hers, two others outside the polling place — all of them Republicans — and "the man next to me was arguing the same thing."
"Gave her this [ballot] and she scanned and said 'you voted,' and I said, 'no, I haven’t'. And she said this has been happening all morning," Bender said of the poll monitor.
She said she was then given a provisional ballot instead, filled it out and "left really angry."
"I’d still like to know how I voted," Bender told KTLA.
In a statement, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office told the news outlet that provisional ballots are a "failsafe option for these kinds of glitches" to guarantee that everyone’s votes are tallied.
"The voters who experienced this issue were offered and provided a provisional ballot — the failsafe option to ensure no one has turned away from voting," the statement said.
"Provisional ballots are regular ballots and once the eligibility of the voter is verified, they are processed and counted. After troubleshooting the issue, the equipment at the locations was replaced and voting continued."
The ballot has two puzzles for California voters: Should their governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, be recalled from office, and, if he is booted, who should take his place?
According to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies survey co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times released Friday, 60.1% of possible voters surveyed oppose recalling Newsom, with 38.5% in favor of it. Fewer than 2% of likely voters prevailed undecided or declined to answer.
Conservative talk show host Larry Elder is the favorite to become California’s next governor if the recall is successful, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In-person early voting is already underway at select polling locations/vote centers around the state, and millions have already returned their absentee ballots by mail or at a secure drop-box location. For the Sept. 14 election, California voters are being asked two questions.
The first question is: “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of governor?” Voters have two possible answers: “Yes” or “No.”