Members of the Citizens’ Oversight Project met Friday at the San Diego Registrar of Voters claiming that there has been a mishandling of ballots. Citizens’ Oversight Project has reportedly begun legal action against the San Diego Registrar of Voters concerning the “Audit of the Count,” according to CBS 8. The watchdog group members say that they are suing the registrar for election processing irregularities.
“We are worse than a Third World country. I believe in election and this is unacceptable. It should be unacceptable to every single American. We have proof from charts for mathematicians that can show you elections are being stolen,” Patricia Gracian, a concerned voter told CBS 8.
The lawsuit alleges that the one percent audit conducted by the San Diego Registrar of Voters contains only about half the Vote-By-Mail ballots that is required by law and includes absolutely no provisional ballots. The suit says that about 285,000 ballots are missing from the audit. They also said that these ballots could help Bernie Sanders’ supporters win California.
Ray Lutz reportedly filed a complaint for declaratory relief filed against San Diego Registrar of Voters. Lutz reportedly alleges that the registrar failed to comply with California’s elections code, which requires the registrar to include provisional ballots in the set of samples to be audited. The missing 285,000 ballots, which incidentally accounts for more than half of the votes that Clinton leads Sanders with, are a point of suspicion, Lutz says.
“We want to make sure that when they get done with this count, we sit down and say let’s take a sample of everything that you’ve done so that we can validate that you’re not cheating. What he is doing is not that, he is not doing it that way. He will tell you it’s just the machines–wrong. This is about the integrity of the Registrar of Voters,” Lutz told CBS 8.
Ballot scanning underway at Registrar’s office. pic.twitter.com/Jx0UAF6E3S
— SAN DIEGO ROV (@SDVOTE) June 8, 2016
Michael Workman, a spokesman for San Diego County, refrained from commenting on the lawsuit itself but did tell CBS 8 that the county looks forward to being heard in court. Workman said that the county has followed all voting rules. A public notice uploaded to the San Diego Registrar of Voters’ website did not mention the provisional ballot requirement.
“Pursuant to State Law, a manual tally of at least 1% of the precincts and 1% of the mail ballots, selected at random, is required as part of the post-Election Day canvass of the election.”
According to California Elections Code, the section about processing and counting provisional ballots states that provisional ballots are to be processed and handled the same way that the Vote-By-Mail chapter requires but doesn’t mention auditing procedures.
“15350. Provisional ballots cast pursuant to Section 14310 shall be processed and counted in accordance with the provisions outlined in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15100) and pursuant to the requirements of Sections 14310 and 14311.”
The hashtag “#michaelvuwearewatchingyou” is directly related to suspicions of election fraud in San Diego County from some voters.
One striking, albeit legal, inconsistency with the rest of the state is that when accounting for unprocessed ballots, San Diego County has been reporting vague, rounded numbers, while other counties’ estimates have been seemingly more precise. Earlier, San Diego County reported that approximately 135,000 Vote-By-Mail or provisional ballots remained uncounted, Wednesday morning, the total unprocessed ballots reported by the county was 65,200, which included 200 mail-in ballots and 65,000 provisional ballots.
— SAN DIEGO ROV (@SDVOTE) June 6, 2016
Conversely, last week, Los Angeles County reported 284,430 unprocessed ballots and this week, L.A. County reported 188,056 unprocessed ballots.
In San Diego on election night, Hillary led the county by 11 percentage points. As of June 21, her lead in the county has slipped to just 6.9 percentage points as scores of Vote-By-Mail and provisional ballots have been counted.
According to County News Center, “275,000 mail ballots were dropped off at the polls [on election day] and about 90,000 provisional ballots also came from the polling places.”
Tracy DeFore, a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office, warned the media and citizens on the day before the primary election that results could take several weeks, but the deadline for the election to be certified by is July 7.
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