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Monday, October 24, 2011

Mayoral Candidates Demand Investigation of Ed Lee Supporters Accused of Fraud

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM

They probably would have voted for Ed Lee anyway ...
  • They probably would have voted for Ed Lee anyway ...

Mayor Ed Lee's supporters have been linked to yet another alleged election scandal. Over the weekend, seven mayoral candidates asked the state and federal governments to investigate whether Lee supporters were illegally marking ballots for Cantonese-speaking voters.

Here's the back story: Witnesses claim they saw volunteers with the SF Neighbor Alliance for Ed Lee for Mayor 2011, an independent expenditure committee, preventing voters in San Francisco's Chinatown District from marking their ballots for any other candidate except for Lee. What made the accusations even more damning is that the alleged fraud was supposedly caught on video.

And while Lee's camp insists he has nothing to do with the committee, his opponents in the race for mayor went ahead and sent a letter to the Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of Justice, asking them both to investigate.

Here's what the letter states:

According to these published accounts, these electioneering activities target Cantonese-speaking voters in San Francisco and may potentially infringe on their federally protected voting rights, and also violate the provisions of the California Elections Code and other laws.
The letter was signed by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Supervisor John Avalos, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, state Sen. Leland Yee, Michela Alioto-Pier, and Joanna Rees.

San Francisco's elections chief John Arntz has since reviewed the video of the alleged fraud and referred it to the District Attorney's Office. Still, he said it didn't show any clear violation of the election law.

Here's the video:

Tony Winnicker, spokesman for Lee, told reporters that the mayor supports an investigation into the alleged wrongdoing. Regardless, it doesn't look good for the mayor, whose campaign has been scrutinized for questionable ethics -- long before he officially jumped into the race.

Stay tuned.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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