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Exposed: Inglewood City Clerk Allows Voter Fraud

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INSIDE INGLEWOOD - Inglewood city clerk Yvonne Horton has been city clerk for three terms.

During that time, a vast repertoire of tactics used to carry out voter fraud has been allowed by her office and blatantly carried out by her office too. 

The current municipal election, which determines council seats for Districts 1 and 2, some of the Inglewood Unified School District seats and two measures that amend the city's charter, has revealed a few of the ways the city clerk allows and perpetrates voter fraud. 

One tactic allowed by the city clerk and which is soon to be under review is to allow favored candidates to hire people to go to apartment buildings and personally collect Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballots. The ballots are then turned in late and then counted the day afterward. 

Unlike other cities, Inglewood allows the ballot counting on election day to be held in a public meeting room in city hall. The event is open to all who care to attend. Elections services firm Martin & Chapman Co., out of Orange County, was hired by the City of Inglewood to help count ballots and to presumably make sure the ballots were counted properly and legally. 

The event is held, one imagines, to give the appearance of transparency. However, there always seem to be "extra ballots" that need to be "sorted" and counted after the elections service personnel are no longer present. 

On April 2, the primary ballot-counting event ended around 11 p.m. However, it was announced that there remained approximately 1,000 uncounted VBM ballots to be counted. The city clerk's staff announced it had to first "sort" the ballots. The ballots alleged to not yet be sorted were also not present. 

On the morning of April 3, while waiting to observe the "sorting" process carried out by city clerk staff (Martin & Chapman personnel were not present to be a part of the process) in a rear conference room, city clerk Yvonne Horton took two quick meetings with city attorney Cal Saunders and assistant city attorney Jeffrey A. Lewis. 

During the hour and a half wait time before being seen by the city, this reporter observed city clerk staff telling callers requesting election updates that "there will be a run-off" in Districts 1 and 2. Despite the nearly 1,000 ballots yet to be counted, at least two city clerk staff were heard making such statements without also disclaiming that the count was unofficial. Several other staff were present when the statements were made. 

After the fifth such caller was told there would be a run-off, this reporter asked to confirm that there was indeed to be run-offs in Districts 1 and 2 as stated. The question drew the ire of city clerk admin assistant Aisha Phillips. 

Phillips was told that if callers are being informed thusly, it would be announced as a statement attributable to the city clerk's office. She became upset.  She was also informed that she had been present for every one of the statements to callers, whereupon she claimed "[she] wasn't paying attention." 

Soon afterward, this reporter was invited into the rear room where the ballots were to be "sorted." City Clerk Deputy Cheryl Moore rolled a huge cart into the ballot-counting room. The large white bags were already open. Some still had the adhesive cover strips still intact, indicating they had never been sealed. Approximately 1,000 ballots were pulled from the opened bags that the Horton had previously claimed were "unsorted." 

The "sorters" did no real sorting, however, as the ballots were already grouped—first into ballot groups and if there was more than one precinct, then into precincts. Most bags had only a single precinct. 

It took less than an hour to "sort" the neatly sorted envelopes. A significant amount of envelopes were not sealed. City clerk staff had Scotch tape on hand to seal the envelopes. 

The lack of postage on the envelopes prompted an inquiry. The inquiry revealed that candidates are allowed to personally turn in VBM ballots that they have personally—or by proxy—collected from voters. 

One can imagine that a candidate being allowed to collect votes from voters is akin to being allowed to rob residents while the cops stand by and make sure that no retribution follows as the thief goes house to house collecting the contents of wallets. 

Nevertheless, Inglewood City Clerk Yvonne Horton has allowed this practice to be carried out by favored candidates such as George Dotson and Danny K. Tabor. 

While observing the "sorting" process, USPS delivered approximately 100 late ballots at 11:30 a.m. The envelopes were logged in and marked as "late." Moore grouped the ballot-filled envelopes with two rubber bands and then went into an adjacent room where she placed them into a metal file cabinet. She then quickly closed and locked the room's door. 

The ballot-"sorting" process was observed by Inglewood assistant city attorney Jeffrey A. Lewis, who remained after Horton's meeting with Cal Saunders. Lewis claimed he could not answer questions about the open bags or the ballot-"sorting" process, but did state he was there to answer any questions he could. 

Inglewood city clerk Yvonne Horton was not present to answer questions following this reporter's observations, nor did she return any of the many phone calls afterward. 

The 1,000 VBM votes that were counted by city clerk staff will be tallied by Monday, April 8. 

At present, the Inglewood District 1 election is slated for a run-off between incumbent Mike Stevens (686 votes; 31.8%) and the mayor-backed George Dotson (975 votes; 45.2%). Statistical trends indicate that little will change when another 1,000 votes are counted, but for this election it is estimated that Dotson will get approximately 300 more votes and Stevens will be given just another 100—just enough to prevent a run-off. That will put Dotson into a "surprising" 52% after the "sorted" VBM ballots are included. 

The same is expected to occur in District 2, where incumbent Judy Dunlap (450 votes; 32.1%) is up against former Santa Monica cop Alex Padilla (699 votes; 49.9% )—who is also backed by Butts—are presently expected to have a run-off. The same sudden Padilla votes that are expected to be found in the 1,000 VBM ballots "sorted" by the unmonitored city clerk staff is expected to make Padilla a winner with approximately 52% announced next Monday. 

If such a scenario occurs, surely this prediction will essentially prove that the city clerk has perpetrated voter fraud yet again so as to "elect" the mayoral-favored candidates. How else would we know?

 

(Randall Fleming is a veteran journalist and magazine publisher. He has worked at and for the New York Post, the Brooklyn Spectator and the Los Feliz Ledger. He is currently editor-in-chief at the Morningside Park Chronicle, a monthly newspaper based in Inglewood, CA and on-line at www.MorningsideParkChronicle.com) 

-cw

  

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 28

Pub: Apr 5, 2013