By Connie Sullivan —
In January the California Democratic Party conducted its biennial election for state party delegates. The elections were held in each assembly district, where 7 self-identified females and 7 other than self-identified female delegates were elected. Also, the highest vote-getter, who indicated a willingness to serve on the party’s executive board, became the executive board member from their particular assembly district.
The results were released on February 10 and almost immediately there was an appeal made to the party’s Compliance Review Commission. A letter written by Representatives Porter, Khanna and Lee plus three assembly members, some city council members and some party caucus chairs made the case that the party’s process suppressed the votes of immigrant voters.
The problem arises from the requirement that voters had to prove they were registered Democrats before their vote could be counted. The process was to complete an online form and immediately there was a message letting the voter know they were verified or they were unverified because their data didn’t match a Democratic voter in the state’s voter file. The latter group was invited to reenter their data again making any changes that they felt might result in a match. As an example, people whose names start with “Mac” found that inserting a space between the “Mac“ and the rest of their name resulted in a match. Removing a hyphen could also result in a match and resolve the problem.
Out of 24,071 votes cast statewide, 21,274 were valid and the others were rejected as not being verified or having overvoted on their ballots. In our assembly district the numbers were 337 votes cast and 310 counted. Of the 27 rejected ballots, 2 voted for more than 14 candidates and the other 25 were unverifiable.
There are over 1000 votes statewide that could be counted if the voters can be verified. The complainants are demanding these votes be hand-verified and counted if they were cast by Democrats. The results for our assembly district follow. If there is a hand-verification that adds votes to these totals, there could be some changes to these results.
The following Palos Verdes Democrats were elected: Caryl Schwartz, Tony Hale (also elected executive board member), Shannon Ross, Jane Affonso, and Dave Zygielbaum.