What to do with the 12K Ballots in Riverside County?

If you haven’t been paying attention to the SD-40 race, you may want to take another look.  The lead for Juan Vargas (boo) over Mary Salas is now sitting at 12 votes.

The votes are pretty much done being counted in the three counties in the district, San Diego, Imperial and Riverside.  But, there’s one big hitch: Riverside County has 12,000 votes that they’ve not yet counted because they were picked up from the post office late.

The Riverside County Democratic Party and three voters filed a lawsuit today over the more than 12,500 ballots that have not been counted in the June 8 election.

In the lawsuit, Moreno Valley residents Naomi Ingram, Sherry Lynn Riegel and Jennifer Christina Riegel contend they mailed ballots on time. But the registrar of voters failed to pick up their ballots from a U.S. Postal Service facility in Moreno Valley due to a miscommunication, they said in the lawsuit. (Riverside P-E)

Interestingly, Republican Supervisor (and former Senator) John Benoit said that he was lining up a plantiff to sue if nobody else did.  If the allegations are true, which are essentially that the elections department failed to do one of their basic tasks, picking up the completed ballots.

While it isn’t clear how many of those votes are in the district, but with only 12 votes separating the two, it won’t take that many.  Of course, we just might see a recount on this race as well.  And if the separation stays this low, who knows what we’ll get a final answer here.

UPDATE: The court has set July 9 as the date for a hearing.

4 thoughts on “What to do with the 12K Ballots in Riverside County?”

  1. Wish you’d take another look at this race.

    Mary Salas has a voting record of less than 40 percent on home care issues. The labor coalition in San Diego/Imperial Counties is split on the race, with such unions as AFSCME and the UDW Homecare Providers Union actively suporting Juan Vargas.

    Just recently, Salas was the only Assembly Democrat NOT to support a bill which would prohibit county governments from forcing homecare workers to undergo and pay for duplicate background checks.  

    Hard to believe that the usually reliable Calitics hasn’t looked at this race more closely rather than automatically supporting Salas. Her record is hardly progressive.  

  2. And there’s a tiger behind both doors.  If you count them, it’s a precedent for accepting ballots after the close of polls — which could be gamed.  If you don’t count them, it’s a roadmap for influencing a future election by “accidentally” forgetting to pick up certain ballots.   Someone needs to time travel to June 8 and get those ballots picked up on time.

  3. Mary Salas is waay more preferable than Mr. Vargas.  Vargas is in the pocket of the insurance industry and has a poor environmental voting record.  Salas is a person of integrity with a very strong environmental voting record–and she has generally been a good friend of organized labor.  

    There is NO question who the more liberal/progressive candidate is in this race.  Hopefully, they will count all  the ballots and we’ll see Ms. Salas come up on top.

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