Voters run into challenges trying to cast ballots as primary voting begins in Los Angeles County

TOLUCA LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents across Los Angeles County on Saturday began casting their ballots more than a week ahead of California's primary election, but some ran into some problems at voting centers.

The goal of having the newly implemented voting centers - instead of traditional polling places - is to give voters as much access as possible but it wasn't all smooth sailing.

Voters who turned up at a site in Toluca Lake were faced with delays due to a shortage of necessary equipment.

"This is actually my second time coming to this voting center and they turned me away twice because they don't have the equipment so I can vote," said Dawn Johung who turned up at a site in Van Nuys.

One polling location had no power, electronic voting machines at another couldn't print the ballots and at another site, there was no equipment at all.

Here's how casting your ballot is changing this year in California
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Changes to how votes are cast in Southern California are coming this election season, with a series of new voting centers opening this Saturday.



Secretary of State Alex Padilla cast his ballot and said there are issues with every election but officials have time to work out all the kinks ahead of Election Day on March 3.

"We have 11 days of voting, right, so there's issues on one day (but) folks haven't lost their right to vote," he said. "I think it's also the upside of this vote center model - if there's issues with one location, voters can still go to any location in the county over those 11 days to be able to cast a ballot."

Only 20% of the 1,000 voting centers have opened so far, the majority of which will open their doors four days before the primary.

Despite the challenges, those who turned out on Saturday said they appreciate being able to cast their ballot when and where they like.

"I think it's a great idea to have as many opportunities to vote as possible," said Nicholas Karakashian. I think having it on a work day is not great. I mean, really, we should have a holiday for voting."

For more information, visit your county's registrar of voters website:

Los Angeles County
Orange County
San Bernardino County
Riverside County
Ventura County
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