The Long Beach Reform Coalition (LBRC) filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against Los Angeles Registrar of Voters Dean Logan today Monday May 11, 2020. The lawsuit seeks a recount of the March 3rd Primary Measure A Extension Vote that won by 16 votes.
The LBRC announcement came in a press release that included a copy of the lawsuit.
The LBRC retained the services of famed California Election Attorney Fredric D. Woocheras its legal counsel from the highly regarded public interest legal firm of Strumwasser and Woocher.
The Measure A lawsuit comes after a string of problems with Logan’s office encountered by the LBRC in their attempt to recount the March 3rd Measure A votes. The LBRC request for a vote recount came after the final vote difference on Measure A was a mere 16 votes and Logan’s refusal for his office to conduct and pay for a recount.
The LBRC turned to Long Beach voters and raised $40,000 in a matter of days to fund a recount. The money raised was more than enough to recount the Measure A votes according to the 2020 published recount rates by Dean Logan’s office.
When LBRC began the recount, the rules then changed and so did the prices to conduct the recount.
The Los Angeles County March 3,2020 California Primary Election’s new voter system called “VSAP“ did away with neighborhood poll places for new centralized voting centers and now mixed votes from all precincts together. When Logan’s office developed the VASP voting system, no pre-planned way for conducting recounts was developed. For the Measure A recount, the Long Beach precincts would have to be separated, a process Logan told the LBRC they would have to pay. Logan’s office also informed the LBRC that a less expensive electronic retrieval of the ballots could be done, but again LBRC would have to pay Logan’s office to develop the software process for the electronic retrieval recount.
With no other options, LBRC opted for the electronic recount and paid close to $7,000 for Logan’s tech department to develop the system, As the recount of votes then started to proceeded slowly under this untried new system, LBRC states it became clear due to numerous procedural problems the total price of the recall started to price-out into the prohibited hundreds of thousands of dollars. The LBRC maintains that would make the Measure A recount the most expensive local measure recount in history and make recount requests financially unattainable.
Another issue the Measure A lawsuit addresses is the 1% Manual Tally ballot check Logan’s office completed in order to certify the March 3rd Primary results and justify his denial of a recount paid for by his office. The LBRC lawsuit maintains that Logan did not follow the state law requiring the 1% ballot check be conducted by precincts. It was that 1% Manual tally ballot check that Logan used to determine that despite the 16 vote difference in the final count, a Measure A recount was not needed.
During the few days that the LBRC paid for the recount, the Measure A vote totals changed. Also reasons for some ballots not being counted were challenged. Logan however never ruled on those ballot challenges.
The LBRC lawsuit seeks a restart of the Measure A recount at the expense of Logan’s office or at a reasonable amount of money.
The LBRC maintains that the lawsuit was necessary to guarantee the integrity of the local electoral process.