Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Call a Padre (Part II): San Diego Residents Support Counting Disqualified Votes

A new poll of San Diego residents finds that they overwhelmingly support counting disqualified ballots in the city's recent mayoral race.

If the majority get their way, that would mean that the write-in candidate, Democratic Councilwoman Donna Frye, would unseat incumbent GOP Mayor Dick Murphy.

The SurveyUSA poll, conducted for San Diego's KGTV, found that by a 60%-37% margin, voters believe ballots that were disqualified should be counted if the voter wrote in Frye's name. The ballots had previously been disqualified because voters had not filled in an oval next to the write-in line. (See JABBS' previous article: http://jabbs.blogspot.com/2004/12/call-padre-san-diegos-gop-mayor-throws.html).

According to the Associated Press, a complete review of disqualified ballots showed that 5,547 voters wrote in Frye's name but failed to fill in the oval -- enough votes to eclipse Murphy's 2,108-vote margin of victory in a three-way race.


What's next?

The SurveyUSA poll found that by a 58%-38% margin, San Diego voters believe Frye should proceed with a legal challenge.

Sally McPherson, San Diego County's registrar of voters, had determined that ballots with unfilled bubbles cannot be counted under state election law. A Superior Court judge then upheld her position last month in a challenge filed by the League of Women Voters of San Diego.

"I don't think our position will change -- it will not change," McPherson told the AP after the unofficial tally of disqualified ballots was completed.

According to Frye's web site, http://www.donnafryeformayor.com, Frye is raising a legal defense fund. She has until Jan. 7 to file a legal challenge.


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