Measure G ballot counting process resumes

June 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
All eyes on the ballot-counting process today after observers voiced concerns over the procedure

It has been an interesting day at the training facility where absentee ballots are processed. It was that process that the "Yes on G" campaign was concerned about. Now, they're asking for a judge to step in.

"I believe every legitimate vote should count and we have a process that we are confident in, therefore ballot processing is resuming," said Brandi Orth, Registrar of Voters.

Orth's employees stopped working for a few hours today after the "Yes on G" campaign raised what Orth called a "procedural concern."

"The Elections Department has been following established procedures which have been in place for six years and are in accordance with election law," said Orth.

"She's counting nearly every ballot regardless of the fact that we were told by county counsel today that their computer system rejected nearly 50% of the walk in absentee ballot signatures."

Bryan McPartlan, an observer for the "Yes on G" campaign called his boss after seeing what he believes was an inaccuracy.

"When I tried to challenge the process, I'm not allowed to talk to the employees working, only managers, and the manager is a distance away and by the time I get there to challenge an individual ballot I can't tell them to stop," said Bryan McPartlan, "Yes on G" observer.

"I'm sitting in there watching the same signatures being counted, there's a machine and a county professional doing a secondary check, so to throw sand in the face of the county and Brandi Orth is absolutely wrong," said Dillon Savory, "No on G."

The "No on G" campaign said it's all smoke and mirrors, and are happy the votes are being processed again.

"That smells an awful lot like voter suppression. Democracy should be the deciding factor and every vote should be counted," said Savory.

The "Yes on G" campaign said they're working on a temporary restraining order They told Action News they won't file that in time for today's ballot processing, but are now preparing one to stop the provisional ballots from being counted.

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------ NEWS RELEASE

Date:
June 6, 2013

Release Date:
Immediate

Brandi L. Orth
County Clerk/Registrar of Voters


SUBJECT: CITY OF FRESNO SPECIAL ELECTION

I want to make sure accurate information gets to the public regarding today's activities in the City of Fresno Special Election.

Observers had procedural concerns and, being cautious, I postponed the process this morning for 2 hours while attorneys discussed the issues. The Elections Department has been following established procedures which have been in place for the past 6 years and are in accordance with election law.

My role, as Registrar of Voters, is to conduct the election in accordance with California law while protecting the rights of the voter and the integrity of the election, regardless of the vote outcome.

I believe every legitimate vote should count and we have a process that we are confident in. Therefore, ballot processing has resumed.

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