San Diego

County, Registrar of Voters Slapped with Election Lawsuit

Among the allegations is that a box that should have contained mail-ballot votes was found to be empty.

In the wake of last week's state Presidential Primary Election, there have been accusations of procedural "irregularities" in the Registrar of Voters office.

On Friday, they became the basis of a lawsuit filed against the County of San Diego and its registrar of voters.

Neither the Registrar Michael Vu nor attorneys from the County Counsel's office are directly addressing details of the litigation.

Among the allegations is that a box that should have contained mail-ballot votes was found to be empty and that a so-called "supplemental random draw" replaced them without public notice.

"If we had the one percent manual tally done properly, then we can detect funny business inside the Registrar of Voters,” Raymond Lutz told a scrum of reporters and photojournalists outside the registrar’s Kearny Mesa office complex.

“If they don't let us do that, it's hard to detect it -- and that's why the lawsuit has been filed," he said. 

Lutz, a one-time Congressional candidate, claims 285,000 ballots went missing from a post-election sample audit mandated under state law.

He believes the uncounted batch of ballots included an unusually large number of provisional votes – a sample potentially ten times the average of past elections.

Lutz said Vu refused to accept copies of the legal documents when he tried to serve Vu with them, and told Lutz to throw the paperwork on the floor.

Lutz was accompanied at the news conference by "concerned voters” from a group called “Citizens Oversight.”

A media advisory released on his behalf included a line saying: ”Bernie Sanders supporters wonder if election officials are pulling a fast one.”

The gathering of voters nodded when Lutz, asked whether he thinks American election systems are “Third World,” replied in the affirmative.

"In other countries, they count the vote right where you cast it,” said Patricia Gracian. “So there is none of this moving boxes from one hidden storage space to another hidden storage space."

In response to a request for comment, the county's chief spokesman sent NBC 7 the following, pithy statement: "We look forward to our day in court."

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