Los Angeles County is already responding to the controversary of mail-in ballots and possible slow or reduced post office service for the election by planting 123 vote collection kiosks in the county. The first boxes went up near libraries and around LA City parks. The mail-in ballots are coming to every citizen is part of the reaction to reduce gatherings because of Covid-19. The mail-in ballots and kiosk ballot receptacles just could be another permanent change brought on by the pandemic.

But these mailbox type collection repositories will do little to stem concern about the validity of the vote in some corners. Already, social media messages question how secure and tamper proof the kiosks are. 

California voters as a whole generally have confidence in the election system according to the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll. Sixty-percent of likely voters have a great deal or a lot of confidence in the state’s election system, while 38% are split evenly between having some confidence and very little. Democratic voters’ express confidence at 75%, Republicans at 36%. In fact, that same number of Republicans, 36%, told pollsters they had very little confidence in the system. 

PPIC also wanted to know how concerned likely voters were that it was either too hard for eligible people to vote or if it were too easy for ineligible people to vote. 

By 54% to 44% likely voters were concerned that it was too hard to vote. Whether than means to the poll respondents that the new voting systems make it hard, or that it was too hard to register to vote, or any other reason is not addressed by the question. The greatest concern was registered in the Inland Empire at 65% to 32%, while the least concern came out of the Orange/San Diego Counties region with 53% not concerned. 

The idea that it is too easy for ineligible voters to cast a ballot was split evenly in the minds of likely voters. Fifty-percent said they were either very or somewhat concerned, 49% were not too concerned or not concerned at all. Republicans by 73% to 18% were concerned about ineligible voters, Democrats were reversed, as to be expected, with 36% raising concerns but 64% unconcerned. For this question, Central Valley voters and Orange/San Diego voters expressed similar concerns of around 60%, while the San Francisco Bay Area was least concerned at 61%. 

In fact, gaming the vote is wildly suspect among a number of observers, including elected Republicans. 

Now that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has awarded  to a firm with close ties to Democrats, especially presidential nominee Joe Biden, a $35 million contract to educate voters on voting options in the coming election, California Republican Senate leader Shannon Grove called for an investigation of the contract. Grove said, “This taxpayer-funded contract is especially disturbing because it calls into question the integrity of California’s upcoming election.” 

Partisan divides on poll questions, controversy over post office tampering, security of new kiosk receptacles and concerns over voting fraud indicate that the heated debate over the mail-in ballot and vote security will last to the election and beyond, with the validity of the election results teetering in the balance. Not a good place for democracy to be.