Los Angeles County egregious appearance of election fraud in the Gascon recall signature verification process
When it was made clear that the County of Los Angeles would not allow observers in the signature validation process your Irascible Correspondent contacted the Los Angeles County Supervisors via an online petition hosted on One Click Politics to voice my discontent. Tuesday morning, August 16, I received the following reply from the office of Janice Hahn:
Thank you for writing to Supervisor Hahn regarding the petition verification process.
Please know that the petition verification process is highly regulated and governed by provisions codified in the California Government Code, California Elections Code, and the State Code of Regulations. The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk adheres to those guidelines and regulations. Once the process is complete and a determination on sufficiency is made, those same regulations provide the proponents the opportunity for review, if desired.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write. She truly appreciates hearing from the residents of LA County.
Angelina F. Contreras
Office of Supervisor Janice Hahn
County of Los Angeles, Fourth District
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street, Room 822
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Wednesday afternoon I received the following from the Election Integrity Project – CA:
Apparently, Not All Recall Elections are Created Equal
On August 15, several media outlets reported that the recent effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has come up short in providing enough “valid signatures” for it to be officially on the November ballot.
Despite a poll conducted from May 19 through May 25 indicating that 45% of voters were in support of a ballot effort to remove Gascón as Los Angeles District Attorney, county election officials announced that the recall campaign fell short by nearly 50,000 signatures.
Recall organizers were able to amass 717,000 signatures for the effort, much more than the officially 566,857 valid signatures required to qualify for the November ballot.
However, although recall leaders were careful to have the 717,000 signatures validated by an outside firm before submission to the Registrar of Voters, the county officials only deemed 520,050 to be “valid,” approximately 47,000 shy of the official requirement.
Concerns over Los Angeles County’s prohibition of allowing citizens to observe the signature validation and verification processes surfaced in late July when the Washington Examiner revealed that the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters determined the effort to recall District Attorney Gascón did not meet the standard definition of an “election.”
Therefore, they claimed that the processes by which the measure would be qualified for the November ballot were not subject to the citizen observation rights afforded by California law. No observers would be allowed to view the signature validation or verification process.
That may be news to thousands of Californians who participated in the observation of the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom less than a year ago. Certainly, volunteer observers were allowed in L.A. County in the election of 2021. One has to wonder what is the difference? Why doesn’t the Gascón recall election “meet the standard?”
All citizens have the right to observe all election processes in the state, by California law. The Election Integrity Project® California (along with all other citizen organizations and individual interested citizens) has “been allowed” to send observers into county Registrars of Voters offices across the state of California since 2012.
An additional concern came from the Recall Campaign itself as the organizers claimed that the L.A. County Registrar of Voters appeared not to have followed the current California signature verification laws in the process of dealing with their recall attempt.
The emergency uniform guidelines for elections designed to prevent “voter disenfranchisement” put in place in 2020 were made permanent in 2022 and apply equally to recall petitions.
In that legislation, elections officials must begin signature verification with the premise that each signature is in fact the voter’s signature. There are specific procedures under law of how a voter’s signature is to be reviewed.
The petitions bearing the signatures for the Gascón recall election were submitted to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters on July 6. No observers were allowed to view the process. On August 8, the law firm of Steve Cooley, a former Los Angeles County District Attorney and candidate for California Attorney General, sent a very detailed letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors quoting California election codes with regard to the rights of citizens to observe elections and illuminating a glaring double standard being exercised in the procedures of handling this recall election.
One prevailing question over this entire incident revolves around why this recall election did not “meet the standard” of an election that would have allowed election observers to monitor the signature verification process. To arbitrarily redefine what an election is for whatever purpose runs counter to the rule of law. If the right to observe the process of signature verification exists in other recall elections but not in this recall election, the result is a blatant violation of citizen rights.
If those in positions of authority simply change the rules at whim, citizens do not have responsive elected officials, and citizens lose trust in an unequal or unjust
practice of the law that is intended to protect their rights.
The unequal or unjust practice of the law that violates citizens’ rights runs counter to the fundamental concept embedded in the Declaration of Independence that all citizens have God-given rights that are not to be taken away by temporal governments or the whims of those who have been granted their authority through the trust of the people.
When the government no longer shows that it is performing to protect our God-given rights, it shows itself to be tyrannical.
Linda Paine, President and Co-founder,
Election Integrity Project®California
Election Integrity Project® California
is a nonprofit public benefit organization
Please consider donating to the work of
Election Integrity Project®California.
UPDATE: Los Angeles County signature rejection rate for the Newsom Recall was 19.4% (63,729 of 328,224), per the Secretary of State. These rejection rates should be checked against the rejection rates of provisional ballots cast in the 2018, 2020 primaries and general elections as well as the 2022 primary election. This will indicate (but NOT PROVE) whether there was any jiggery pokery in the signature verification process. Proof would require a full forensic audit, which has been rendered impossible in Los Angeles County since they went to the kind of machines they are now using since everything is printed by machine and not marked by the voter
Of the 715,833 signatures submitted the County rejected 195,783, 27%. The reasons for rejection are instructive.
88,464 – 12.35% – rejected for not being on the voter rolls.
6.08% – were duplicates
32,187 – address mismatch
4.5% – bad address (ie. address does not exist vs. voter’s stated address does not match address of record as above)
5374 – does not reside in Los Angeles County
9,490 – no signature match
A 19.4% rejection rate seems awfully high, a 27% rejection rate is outrageous. Clearly this signature verification process was managed to obtain a pre-determined outcome, Commissioner Hahn’s assurances not withstanding. One possibility here is that a different standard or method was used in Gascon recall than in the Newsom recall. That would mean that voters in the Gascon recall effort were treated differently than voters in the Newsom recall effort. That is a massive, massive 14th Amendment violation and may be actionable. The 14th Amendment, you will recall, requires that all voters be treated equally.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
What must be done. Contact every State and County official even remotely connected with elections and pound them on the issue. Be polite, do not be abusive and for Heaven’s sake, don’t be threatening. Start with Dean C. Logan, Los Angeles Registrar Recorder.
Registrar of Voters: (800) 815-2666
Vote Center Information: (800) 815-2666, Option #1
Recorder/County Clerk: (800) 201-8999
Tweets by LACountyRRCC
Follow that with calls to Shirley N. Webber, Ph.D., California’s Secretary of State: 916-657-2166
County Commissioner Hahn (213) 974-4444
Our freedom was not won by a silent and inert people, nor will a silent and inert people restore it. Get off the dime!