Polling Place Problems Reported During Primaries

Voters across Los Angeles on Tuesday reported problems at their polling places as the primaries kicked into high gear.

Voters said they encountered problems in from the San Fernando Valley,  to the Westside and the Eastside. At one voting place in Beverly Hills poll workers were locked out.

The problem was reported at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills and it is listed as a polling place for three precincts.

But when poll workers showed up at 6 a.m. the doors were locked so they had to improvise.

Workers had to set up a makeshift polling place outside the Paley Center because its doors were locked. Workers say a supervisor told them the center had decided not to allow voting to take place inside the museum.

"Nobody got back to us from the Paley Center so we really were stuck," said Farzad Tabatabai, a poll volunteer. "She had costumes she wanted to protect so she didn’t want to let us in."

Four hours later, in an apparent change of heart, voters were let inside.

But dozens who had voted outside did not have access to the machines to check their ballots for mistakes.

Several people said the same machines were either unavailable or not working at several polling places, leaving these voters in hollywood worried about their ballots.

"I'm just amazed that in 2016 we still have to go through this," said Brian Donnelly, a Hollywood voter.

Andrew Strickland, another Hollywood voter, was frustrated.

"You're leaving the poll not knowing if your vote's really going to count," he said.

A polling place in Sherman Oaks opened more than two hours late after volunteers failed to show up. Richard Lewis says he was turned away at 7 a.m. but fortunately had the time to come back at 9:30 a.m.

"There was three or four guys here that had to go to work so they probably won't vote today," he said. "One of them works till midnight so he won't be able to vote at all."

Officials said that with more than 4,000 polling locations, such problems were rare. Tabatabai said despite the delay here, it was still a privilege to volunteer.

"People give their lives all over the world for the right to vote," he said. "We have a right to vote. We shouldn’t take it for granted."

Paley Center officials did not respond for comment as to why workers were initially locked out.

Los Angeles County Registrar officials said they're investigating.

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