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Comment: Room For Improvement at the County Registrar-Recorder's Office

One of the main tasks of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder is to collect the filings of all candidates running for offices within the county - such as the Monrovia School Board - and make those documents available to the public. But this election showed me that there is a lot of room for improvement at the Registrar's office.

Around October 20 I thought I'd look up who has given what to the various Monrovia School Board candidates. Today, a day after the election, I got that information.

Here's how the process worked:

I searched for financial disclosure information at the Registrar's website,, and failed, then used Google and failed, then wrote to the Registrar's email help line and got an irrelevant answer.  I finally spoke with the treasurer of one of the candidates who - because he had to do the financial reporting - knew a phone number for the Registrar's Campaign Finance Section.

I called that number and was told the information I wanted is not online and to get it I'd need to send an email with my request, including the name of the election (Monrovia School Board), the candidates for whom I wanted information (all of 'em), and the year of the election (sigh, 2020). 

I did that and got back an email saying they could not provide the information by email, I'd also have to provide a postal address.

I did that, and I got the information (most of it) on the day after the election.

I'm sorry, but this is the kind of rigmarole I would expect in 1993. This is the computer age and this information should be online - all of it, not just for countywide offices. The Registrar's job is to collect that data and make it public, so every document that is public record should be scanned into PDF form the moment it comes in the door and should immediately be posted on the Registrar's website.

The contortions that were required to obtain basic public information shouldn't be necessary. This needs to be corrected.

- Brad Haugaard

1 comment:

  1. That doesn't sound good. The LA County Registrar - Recorder's Office makes the DMV and the EDD seem like stellar examples of efficiency.