L.A. County Selects IBM Security Services to Conduct Independent Review of Voter Roster Error

On Election Day, 118,509 voter records were omitted from precinct voter rosters due to a system printing error that affected approximately 12,000 voters. – Courtesy photo / secretlondon 123 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Los Angeles County has engaged information technology leader IBM Security Services to conduct an independent review and evaluation of the systems and procedures used in the production and printing of voter rosters for the June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election. IBM will work with the County’s Chief Information Officer and Auditor-Controller to determine the root cause of the printing error and make recommendations for corrective action.

“Our priority is ensuring a thorough and impartial review that is conducted to the highest professional standards,” said Chief Executive Officer Sachi A. Hamai. “Working with IBM Security Services, we are confident we will get the critical information needed to prevent this from happening again.”

IBM Security Services will complete a full incident assessment and root cause analysis including a forensic review of the systems, procedures and agencies used in preparing and producing precinct rosters for the County’s 4,357 voting precincts and more than 5.1 million voters. The review will also include testing of networks, servers and databases to evaluate any potential vulnerabilities, and to assess the effectiveness of security controls, policies and quality control processes. The review started Monday, June 18, and is expected to take four weeks.

On Election Day, 118,509 voter records were omitted from precinct voter rosters due to a system printing error that affected approximately 12,000 voters, who cast provisional ballots which were processed immediately. The affected voters also received confirmation by letter, email or automated calls that their ballot was counted and their voter registration status was not affected.  No voters were ever removed from voting rolls and their right to vote was never at issue.

“We recognize the importance of an independent review,” said Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, “Achieving public confidence in the voting process requires us to provide the public with answers about the exact reason for the omission of voter records in the printed voter rosters and to institute safeguards to avoid any recurrence in future elections.”

Once the root cause of the printing error is determined, the County will issue a report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and will identify a comprehensive action plan for the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to act on the recommendations.

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