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My voting experience in Garden Grove.

On the way to my polling place (First Presbyterian Church on Euclid), I expected to request a paper ballot and then gleefully fill it out. No such luck. The poll worker I dealt with had no idea what I was talking about, and then tried to tell me that I was voting on paper. I couldn’t believe he was saying this, as he was pointing to the printer on the voting machine. I tried to explain to him that the state only requires 1% of those to be tallied, and even then does not specify who is responsible for this count or the methods they are supposed to use. I attempted to further explain the details of the memo by California’s Secretary of State that stated that all voters have the right to opt for a purely paper ballot (more info here). As stated before, he had no idea what I was talking about.

Other noted problems:

  • 3/8 machines non-functional
  • 3-4 people leaving without confirming the paper readouts, resulting in poll workers completing the confirmation process

If you notice anything funny at your polling place, or if you have any problems yourself, please do not hesitate to call 866-OUR-VOTE, the Election Protection Hotline. Seeing as how this is election day and these problems are far from being solved, our only hope is to fully document the trouble.


  1. Publius Publius November 7, 2006

    Did you finally get your paper ballot?
    I believe the policy is that they must be made available to anyone who requests one. Much like a provisional.

  2. Mike DeFreitas Mike DeFreitas Post author | November 7, 2006

    Nope, never got one. I ended up using the machine, since they had no paper ballots for me. Even those voting provisionally used the machines. I noticed that in those cases they received a different printout from the main machine controller that had to be signed.

  3. Publius Publius November 7, 2006

    Well, that sucks. I know that you choose not to use the computers because of issues you have with their reliability (a valid concern).
    But imagine if you were a senior, or someone unfamiliar with using a computer (such people still exist!). Polling places are required to have paper ballots for cases like these. They were either misinformed, or just plain lazy.
    I’d suggest you call over to the OC Registrar of Voters and let them know about your experience so they can send someone out to the precinct, make sure they have a supply of paper ballots, and are made aware of the official policy.

  4. Aetna Aetna January 27, 2007

    I just want you to know that I think you did a terrific job on this websight.

Comments are closed.