Thursday, February 15, 2007

OC Special Election UPDATE: "We Will Look at ALL the Ballots"

At today's press conference, Janet Nguyen and her attorneys reassured everyone that "every vote maters", and that this is why they have decided to pursue a recount. And oh yes, they do intend to investigate the forty cases that they have already received of alleged voter fraud. And yes, they suggested that these cases of voter fraud may be coming from the Van Tran/Trung Nguyen operation in Westminster.

But still, they did not want to give any details about these claims of voter fraud. And they did not go into detail oh how they wanted the recount to be done. But still, I did find out a little more about what their strategy is.

Like for instance, why? Why is Team Janet pursuing the recount? Attorney Andrew Do mentioned that because the electronic voting machines have an error rate of 0.6% to 1.6%, that there could be at least 200 votes, and as many as 800 votes, that were miscounted. And remember that right now, the margin between Janet and Trung is only SEVEN VOTES. Or as Andrew Do said himself, "With a margin of seven votes, we are well within the margin of error."

My friend Jubal/Matt Cunningham from OC Blog asked about the cost of the recount. Just how much will this cost? Andrew Do never quite answered that question, but he did say that the campaign can ask to stop the recount at any time. At that point, fellow Nguyen attorney Phil Greer corrected Do, saying that they can stop the recount at any time so long as Trung Nguyen continues to lead. However if the lead switches and Janet is suddenly ahead, then the recount would have to proceed. Do then concluded this round by saying that "Janet Nguyen is ready to lead this community, and ready to heal this community, no matter the result." Basically, he said that Janet would accept the results and concede if the recount ends up with Trung still winning.

At that point, I wanted to ask about what the campaign intends to do if these allegations of voter fraud turn out to be true. As soon as I heard Do report to us that the campaign has received FORTY reports by voters in the First Supervisorial District claim to be victims of voter fraud, and proceed to claim irregularities with absentee ballots, I wanted to know if the campaign would then ask the Registrar of Voters to disqualify these illegally cast votes. Andrew Do responded to my question by saying, "We don't know yet what the strength of our evidence is. We're still investigating." So no answer on what they intend to do about the illegal votes.

Peggy Lowe, of the OC Register, then asked whether the campaign intends to hold off the recount of the absentee ballots until the end, once there has been time to investigate these allegations of voter fraud. Phil Greer responded by saying that the campaign has not decided on this yet. Greer also added that the difference between the two candidates among absentee votes was only 200. And after receiving a question regarding Van Tran's recent assertion that Trung Nguyen won the Vietnamese vote by ten percent, and that the recount would "neutralize the Vietnamese vote", Andrew Do responded that their analysis had shown that Janet led among Vietnamese voters in all cities except Westminster...
And it happens that all forty claims of voter fraud were from Westminster.

So it looks like Janet Nguyen and her campaign team are pursuing the recount first, and then the allegations of voter fraud. And oh yes, Team Janet denied the rumor that noted election attorney Fred Woocher is working with Team Janet. I guess they are trying to lay a little low on the voter fraud, as the GOP machine is already beginning to disown Janet.

And the drama continues...
And now, for more photos!

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Btw: Peggy Lowe is also covering this at The OC Register's Total Buzz. Oh yes, and Jubal has audio of the press conference up at OC Blog. He should also have video up soon. : )

UPDATE 2: Jubal now has the full video of the press conference up at OC Blog.

UPDATE 3: Total Buzz has all the details on how the recount will go. "It will go in this order, with the precinct votes in each city counted first and then the absentee ballots before moving on to the next city: Garden Grove, Midway City, Santa Ana, Westminster."

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