SAN DIEGO, CALIF.- Ray Lutz and a group of supporters affiliated with Citizens Oversight held a news conference at the County Registrar’s office in San Diego Wednesday claiming that the 2016 June Primary election was “rigged.”
In a ruling last week, Superior Court judge Joel Wohlfeil ruled that San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu had not counted the election ballots properly. In his ruling Judge Wohlfeil stated, “Section 15360 requires election officials to include vote-by-mail ballots cast and provisional ballots when conducting the one percent tally. Defendants did not do this.”
Lutz says that left some 285,000 ballots from being audited. He told IVN News, “It doesn’t prove election fraud. But it does prove that elections officials are conducting incomplete audits, which gives an entry point to fix an election.”
The election code requires that ALL ballots cast be subjected to random audits by choosing 1% of the ballots, including vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. Excluding any ballots from the audit process is a violation of the elections code.
In addition to the San Diego County Registrar, Lutz said, “Los Angeles, Orange, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Sonoma, Kern, Santa Cruz and Anaheim counties” are also using the same “illegal” methods to count ballots. He said this brings into question the validity of the 2016 June Primary election.
Mike Workman, Director of Communications for San Diego County told IVN News:
“In the June 7, 2016 Primary, all properly cast ballots were counted accurately. The 1% manual tally is NOT a recount. It is to verify the accuracy of the tabulation system used. Almost eight thousand ballots (1.02%) were included in the 1% manual tally in this primary. ZERO discrepancies were found in the tabulation system. This lawsuit and this court document raise questions about statewide practices. We, along with other counties, are seeking clarification from the Secretary of State.”
Workman continued, “The public should have all confidence that every legally cast ballot and vote was counted in the election.”
The Independent Voter Project (IVP) has been critical of California’s election system, warning California Secretary of State Alex Padilla well before the election that massive voter confusion was likely to occur. IVP even offered a resolution that would have provided a streamlined ballot for all voters, but the secretary of state and the Assembly's Elections and Redistricting Committee chose not to act.
Lutz and attorney Alan Gerson will have a Case Management Conference with County Counsel in 30 days. If the case is settled at that time it could cost the county “10 to 15 thousand dollars in attorney’s fees.” However, Gerson told IVN that number could “escalate substantially if the parties aren’t able to come to an agreement.”