Reporting Serene Branson
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Registered sex offenders were found living in at least six polling places across L.A. County.
CBS2/KCAL9 made this discovery after sifting through polling stations while cross-checking them with the Megan’s Law website of sex offenders.
While polling stations can’t be set up at the private residence of sex offenders they can be set up at multi-family dwellings.
One such location was a club house at Heritage Park senior apartments in Duarte. Darrell Wayne Brown, who has been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, recently moved out, but no one knew he was a registered sex offender.
“I was absolutely shocked,” resident Jean Smith said.
Smith pointed out that there’s a preschool across the street. She said government-approved voting sites should steer clear of sites where sex offenders live, or that officials should at least alert people to it.
“I think everyone should know, I really do, because that’s really important,” Smith said.
Heritage Park management said they run background checks and were not aware of Brown’s history.
Last year, the state put into place a new law which “prohibits a polling place from being designated at a single family residence where a registered sex offender resides and would require elections officials to consult the Megan’s law database.”
However, that law doesn’t extend to apartments or complexes.
Some El Monte residents said that it should.
“They should have the right to know what’s around to cause problems to their family or safety,” resident Brett Jones said.
Megan’s law also shows two registered sex offenders linked to the Brookside mobile home park in El Monte which also served as a polling station this year. One of the sex offenders was convicted child molester Ronald William Bulkley.
El Monte resident Dan Jones said he doesn’t like the idea of parents bringing their children to the polling places.
“They’re going to come in, and they’ll be with their parents, but a lot of kids will run around, and there a lot of little hiding places, what have you. It’s just not, generally, a good thing,” Jones said.
The L.A. County lawmaker behind the state legislation was campaigning Monday night and unavailable for comment.
The County Registrar also declined to comment and said the polling places mentioned were not illegal.