Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Democracy Gets Fryed

Orange County Superior Court Judge H. Michael Brenner upheld the November election of Mayor Dick Murphy of San Diego, rejecting 5,551 votes for write-in candidate Councilwoman Donna Frye (which would have given her the election by a larger margin than Murphy currently can claims) because people did not fill in the oval next to her name as required by state law. The LA Times writes,

"In his ruling, the judge said the intent of write-in voters for Frye was clear but concluded that the rules were meant to be followed. State law requires that voters for a write-in candidate not only fill in the name but darken the oval. Filling in the ovals, the judge said, 'requires a small burden on voters.'"

This disgusts me. For example, among the rejected ballots was one in which Murphy's name was crossed out and Frye was written in with several exclamation points. But because the oval was not darkened... it did not count. It's especially galling to realize that if San Diego simply had not chosen to use scantron technology, there would have been no requirement to darken the oval, and the race would have gone to Frye without question. Technology trumps democracy??? If even the judge concedes that the intent of the write-in voters was clear, isn't that what really matters? How can this be?

Frye has not yet conceded and those who brought the lawsuit will appeal.

10 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

LTG, why would an Orange County judge be making rulings on an election in San Diego County?

Also, LTG, how are superior court judges appointed? elected? Can you tell us anything about this judge in particular?

It is disgusting. Yet more evidence that the Republican party has ceased to be a democratic party in the sense that they support the democratic process. For years now, they have taken every chance to grab unconstrained power regardless of institutional, legal or traditional limitations.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Change of venue in election cases is common. Local judges standing for election on the ballot have conflict of interest issues.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Before becoming mayor in 2000, Dick Murphy was a Superior Court County judge in San Diego, so all the judges in the area recused themselves.

So we have a Republican judge ruling that a Republican registrar of voters correctly ignored the intent of the voters using rules laid down by the Republican city council, resulting in the re-election of an unpopular Republican mayor fighting a historic write-in insurgent candidacy. You connect the dots.

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