Lawyers have become involved in the California Democratic Party’s election of a new chairperson due to a razor-thin margin of victory and reports that the election’s integrity may have been compromised by double voting. The election for the chairperson position was between candidates Eric Bauman and Kimberly Ellis. Only dozens of votes separated the two candidates, and Ellis has not conceded. Ellis’ campaign spokesman said that her team is reviewing legal options.
Reportedly, many of Kimberly Ellis’ supporters have alleged that some delegates for Eric Bauman were counted twice. Now, Bauman’s lawyer, Ellis’ lawyer, and the California Democratic Party’s lawyers will meet (and reportedly may have already met) to discuss the allegations that the election may have been compromised.
Kimberly Ellis was the candidate most preferred by Progressive voters. On social media, Ellis was clearly supported by prominent Berniecrats.
According to the L.A. Times, the outgoing California Democratic Party chairperson, John Burton, said that the party bylaws don’t have provisions in place for a recount of an election for the chairperson position. Burton said that he doesn’t understand what Ellis’ complaint about the election actually is, “except that she lost.”
Burton said that Ellis needed to show evidence that some people had double voted for Eric Bauman.
“I told one of her people to show me some evidence that people were double voting or whatever it was.”
Kimberly Ellis’ statement about the California Democratic Party’s chairperson election was posted to Facebook on Sunday afternoon.
“We are so grateful for the support of the thousands of California Democrats we received this weekend and over the past two years on this journey.
“This was a close campaign, one that will come down to a handful of votes at the end of the day. We have some concerns about the way some of those votes were cast. If we want to build a Party that moves forward together, strong and unified, we owe it to every Democrat in California to ensure the election was conducted fairly and with transparency. We are talking with the CDP to do just that. We appreciate the leadership that Chairman Burton and Shawnda Westly have shown in this, and we’re working with them to find a resolution.
“Win or lose, I’m proud of the campaign that we ran and the energy and enthusiasm we saw in that convention center. I’m committed to the future of our great Party, and I look forward to continuing our work together to turn California – and the nation – blue.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Eric Bauman was considered by many to be the so-called “Big Pharma candidate,” because he received $12,500 a month from the pharmaceutical industry and he opposed the now-defeated Proposition 61, according to a 2016 article from San Francisco Chronicle. Proposition 61, to the disappointment of Progressives, failed in November, 2016. The pharmaceutical industry had spent millions of dollars opposing it. Prominent Progressives like Nina Turner and RoseAnn DeMoro, of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United, consider Bauman to be the candidate that would fight for establishment Democrats and corporations rather than for the people, according to an article in L.A. Times.
Nina Turner told an audience of Progressive delegates at a Friday dinner meeting that the California Democratic Party’s chairperson election was extremely important. She told the delegates that they must be present for the vote.
“The way we show the corporate [Democrats] that we are not playing games with them, starting right here in California, is to make sure that we get Kimberly Ellis elected as chair!”
Late in the evening on Saturday, Wendy Carrillo announced that 60 percent of the ballots had been counted and Kimberly Ellis was in the lead.
Some delegates have also alleged that towards the end of the evening, organizers were failing to check delegate credentials. Many of Kimberly Ellis’s supporters have demanded a recount of the delegate votes. Sunday afternoon, the delegates argued for a re-vote and/or to suspend the bylaws so that a re-vote can take place.
What do you think? Should the California Democratic Party figure out a way to recount the delegates’ votes so that there is no question who the rightful party leader is? Let us know in the comments area below.
[Featured Image by Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images]