“Count Every Vote” lawsuits question election processing practices, statewide outcome
Source: Citizens Oversight
June 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- Legal action filed in San Diego Superior Court questions elections processing procedures in election districts throughout California in one of the most interesting primary elections in years. Citizens' Oversight, Inc. a 501(c)3 Delaware corporation with primary offices in California is the leading plaintiff in these cases in an attempt to represent all voters in California, and most particularly, those who have submitted a provisional ballot in this election.
Ray Lutz of Citizens Oversight explains, “There were about 10 times the normal number of provisional ballots, particularly by 'No Party Preference' (NPP) voters who may have used a regular DEM ballot or cross-over DEM ballot, and improperly sidelined into the provisional ballot pile. Some voters were given regular DEM ballots but should have received DEM “cross-over” ballots. These votes should be counted even if they were given the wrong ballot at the polling place. If all these ballots are counted, the presidential primary may flip for Bernie rather than for Hillary in the Democratic primary race.”
Lutz noted that this is not an issue in the Republican race because they have not opted to allow NPP voters to vote in their primary.
As of the end of last week in San Diego, 48,000 ballots still had to be included in the count. These last sets of ballots should include “Provisional” ballots which will be tilted heavily toward Sanders. With a gap of only 24,000 votes, Sanders may win the election in this county, and perhaps even state wide if he has a 75% lead in that last batch. “If that happens, it will be quite interesting indeed,” said Lutz.
Lutz filed his own case last week Pro Per, and has since hired former Asst. City Attorney Alan Geraci to fight for a clean 1% Manual Tally including all votes cast. The San Diego Registrar of Voters,
Michael Vu, said he was not intending to include Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballots processed after election night nor any provisional ballots in the state-mandated audit process, excluding more than one-third of the ballots. “They have had a habit of short-cutting this audit procedure for years. It is time to follow the law and include all ballots cast in the universe of ballots to be sampled in the procedure,” Lutz said.
San Francisco Bay Area civil rights attorney William M. Simpich announced filing of a new lawsuit designed to ensure that all California primary votes are counted despite the provisional ballot confusion. “This provisional ballot situation is a mess that could have been avoided. At this point we want to make sure every vote is correctly counted even if the voters happened to use the wrong ballot type,” Simpich said.
The public is invited to attend the press conference to promote that every vote should be counted.
According to a schedule agreed to last week, the 1% Manual Tally case will be heard on July 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm in San Diego Superior Court, 220 West Broadway, Department C-73 (West Annex, 6th floor). The public is invited to attend.