June 1, 2016 Contact: Judy Branfman 310-392-2076
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Venice Groups Request Investigation Into Potential Election Fraud in June 5th Venice Neighborhood Council Elections
On Tuesday May 31 three Venice groups – Venice Action Alliance, Venice Coalition to Preserve the Unique Community Character (VC-PUCC), and POWER (People Organized for Westside Renewal) – on behalf of dozens of residents and stakeholders, called on District Attorney Jackie Lacey and City Attorney Michael Feuer to investigate claims that a local business has committed election fraud.
C&O Restaurants is offering their employees, on or off duty, an hour’s pay to vote a pre-selected slate in the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election on June 5th. The letter goes on to state that “We have prepared everything you need to vote that you can get from your managers” and says “we will pay you for an hour of your time and even provide a free lunch.”
Elections Code §18522 declares it a felony to “pay, lend, or contribute, any money or other valuable consideration to or for any voter … to: (a) Induce any voter to: … (2) vote … for any particular person.”
“The City considers neighborhood council representatives public officials. There’s no question — the election fraud laws apply to neighborhood council elections, the same way they would apply to City elections” said VC-PUCC Laddie Williams.
Requesting that there be an immediate investigation, that the VNC keep all required employment verification for future examination, and that the period for an appeal of the outcome be increased to 30 days, the letter states “the spirit and the letter of state and city election laws is in jeopardy.”
“The current rules give you only three days to prove an election was rigged” said Venice Action Alliance member David Ewing. “That’s impossible. The short time period guarantees an election will never be effectively challenged, no matter how bogus it is.”
See also: “When Voting Rights Go Wrong” by Gary Walker: http://argonautnews.com/when-voting-rights-go-wrong/
Bill Przylucki, POWER, 310-439-8564
Mark Kleiman, Attorney, 310-709-8924
David Ewing, Venice Action Alliance, 310-339-0848