Tuesday, December 14, 2004

More Razor-Thin Elections

As if we didn't already have enough razor-thin election results this year, an investigation by the LA Times released this afternoon showed that the mayoral race for San Diego was decided by a judge's intepretation of state law last month.

A review of disputed ballots showed today that write-in candidate Councilwoman Donna Frye would have beaten Mayor Dick Murphy except for a judge's decision refusing to order the counting of "empty oval" ballots.

In the official results, Murphy beat Frye by 2,108 ballots out of 455,694 cast and was sworn in last week for a second term.

But a review requested and paid for by five media organizations and two Frye supporters showed 4,180 ballots in which voters wrote in Frye's name but did not darken the oval on the line next to her name.None of those ballots were included in the official tally because state law requires the ovals to be darkened.

So let's see, you write-in the candidate's name, but the act of not darkening the oval next to the name nullifies the vote? The League of Women Voters and other groups aren't so sure about that.

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