2020 Election controversy Los Angeles

 

Re: Status of Write-In Candidates

Date:

FROM: GJohnson(REDACTED))

TO: clerk.election@lacity.org; mayor.garcetti@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org; councilmember.bonin@lacity.org; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org; councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org; councilmember.martinez@lacity.org; councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org; paul.koretz@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org; councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org; councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org; councilmember.smith@lacity.org; councilmember.lee@lacity.org; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; empowerla@lacity.org; president@unnc.org; john.arnold@unnc.org; cordell.hinton@unnc.org; greg.jackson@unnc.org; marielle.farnan@unnc.org; raheem.dawson@unnc.org; tori.bailey@unnc.org; esai.vergara@unnc.org; tracey.hart@unnc.org; laura.meyers@unnc.org; wanc@empowerla.org; executiveoffice@bos.lacounty.gov

DATE: Friday, January 31, 2020, 08:11 AM PST

Section 73.1940 [47 CFR §73.1940]
Legally qualified candidates for public office
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Title 47 United States Code)

Election controversy that favors the regular candidates

Dear City Clerk Elections:
Thank you for your January 30, 2020 response. I will address the lingering controversy.

These issues could have been anticipated when the election code was changed —state or local—that would clearly give unfair advantage to regular candidates.

The city clerk websites describes the candidates as “regular candidates” and PRIMARY NOMINATING ELECTION CANDIDATES CERTIFIED LIST OF CANDIDATES as of December 13, 2020. The secretary of state key dates and deadlines says December 26, 2019 as the “deadline” for such candidates. The secretary of state does not use the word “final” nor does the city clerk of Los Angeles website. In addition, the city clerk election site provides the PRIMARY NOMINATING ELECTION CANDIDATES NOMINATING PETITION FILING STATUS and shows that candidates “qualified” on varying dates, starting 11/27/2019 thru December 6, 2019. Similarly, on the same city clerk website, it is listed “write- in candidates(s)”. There is no mention of the word “final”. This list is called “PRIMARY NOMINATING ELECTION WRITE-IN CANDIDATES CERTIFIED LIST OF CANDIDATES”. Again there are different dates of “certification” and each candidate who has certified is given a letter from the city clerk saying “qualified” and “certified” for purposes of receiving the vote if written onto the ballot. For the write-in candidates, there is an alternative process where they can collect 500 valid signatures, and at that point they can certify to have their vote count as a write-in.

Some of the neighborhood councils recently excluded me from candidate forums partly because they felt I was not a “qualified, certified” candidate who deserved attention from the voters. Surely this controversy is fueled by the fact that I do not appear on the county list of write-in candidates. The county list updated as of December 31, 2019, but the registrar refuses to add the Los Angeles write-in candidates to the list although I have asked them repeatedly. The video of me being horrifically assaulted at the Jan. 12 candidate forum appears on Youtube at

FIGHT 2 SAVE BLACK L.A. 1-12-20 #VOTE4WHO 10TH DISTRICT CANDIDATE FORUM PT. 1/3.

 

Because of your insistence on the Feb 18 deadline, my question is does that mean the write-in candidates are not “final” for purposes of receiving the February 3 vote by mail? Does that mean write- in votes will not count only if a voter chooses their names after the posting to the county Registrar site?

The gap I see here is that if you do not turn over the list of write-in candidates until after February 18, 2020, yourself and the country registrar have created confusion in the minds of the voter as to why the December 31, 2020 county registrar list does not reflect all the qualified and certified candidates as of January 6, 2020, etc. That the deadline for write-in candidates Los Angeles falls on Feb. 18, does not give the county registrar or anyone for that matter, the authority to deny that there are qualified and certified write in candidates who paid the $300 fee prior to Feb. 18, and by accounts of federal law on the matter, are valid for the purposes of receiving the vote, that the county registrar has actual and constructive knowledge of the Los Angeles write-in candidates that have qualified, but refuses to update the county list in time for the voting to start. This is unacceptable and surely a sign the vote, presumably on behalf of county supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, is being rigged to give regular candidates unfair advantage, i.e a head start in the election race. For the county to attest to the Feb. 18 deadline which you allude to also, does not answer the question of wny if there is a state election code deadline for a “final” list to be filed, how did 250 candidates get on the registrar list before the Feb. 18 deadline? The registrar as well as yourself, have failed to explain that. If one vote is cast Feb 3, and the registrar list has not been updated, in my opinion that will be clear grounds to seek the invalidation of the election results. It is a simple matter to update the list. The alleged “deadline” rule of February 18 does not say that the list cannot be updated for those write-in candidates who have qualified before Feb. 18.

Your letter states, “Likewise, we are required to have the final certified list of write-in candidates 14 days prior to the election, which in this case is February 18, 2020.” I don’t see that requirement in the Los Angeles election code, nor do I see word “final certified list” mentioned in terms of write-in candidates. I do see in the city election code, “Every person seeking to qualify as a write-in candidate shall file a Declaration of Intention to become a write-in candidate and either the filing fee or petition described above with the City Clerk no later than the 14th day prior to the election.” I don’t see any statement that you have to make up a list 14 days before the election, not do I see that you have to turn that list over to the county by that date. The code clearly says that a candidate can qualify between 57 days before the election and up to 14 days before the election. There is nothing in the code that says the city election clerk can act in a biased manner and delay giving that information to the county registrar. I asked your office to give the list you currently have to the Registrar, and in violation of the city code of ethics, you have refused.

 

Your letter does not address the issue of whether a vote for a write-in will count on February 3, or will only those votes after February 18 count, and your letter does not answer whether this issue could be grounds to invalidate the election results.

I notice —in the middle of writing this email that as of Jan. 30—–the county has updated its list, however I object to the word “final” as such word does not appear in the election code of Los Angeles as regards the lists of candidates. Further, the arrangement on the county webpage implies that the City of Los Angeles write-in candidates, since they are not on the regular list of “final” write-in candidates, implies that the city Los Angeles list is not final. In truth the only candidates on the list are “final” for purposes of voting, unless I am mistaken. The word is confusing to the voter and should be removed. All write-in candidates should be on one list. The titles of the candidates lists on the county registrar website should be consistent. The word “final” is misleading and confusing. Since you use the word “final” in your email, without legal justification, I will be filing a claim for damages against the city election clerk as well as the county of Los Angeles and County registrar’s office. The damage to me and my campaign, caused by the actions of yourself and others, is irreparable. Please support that the word “final” will appear on the county website before all candidate lists or it will appear before none of the candidate lists. Otherwise, the word “final” presents a misleading and superfluous image that confuses the voters and gives unfair advantage to the regular candidates.The city list calls the write-ins “list of certified candidates”. It is not clear from the list the county posted as “city of Los Angeles write- in candidates” at first glance whether those candidates are “final” or not, certified and qualified or not. The county site use of the word “final” implies that my candidacy as “write-in” is not “final”, without clarifying what “final” means (certified, qualified, or not).

My campaign has been damaged since January 6, 2020 when the county registrar failed to update its online list of candidates. If this confusion is rectified, please let me know ASAP.

All rights reserved.

G. Juan Johnson Candidate write-in

Phone (redacted)
c: Los Angeles 2020 write-in candidates; Executive Offices Board of Supervisors

Section 73.1940 [47 CFR §73.1940]
Legally qualified candidates for public office

(a) A legally qualified candidate for public office is any person who:
(1) Has publicly announced his or her intention to run for nomination or office;

(2) Is qualified under the applicable local, State or Federal law to hold the office for which he or she is a candidate; and

(3) Has met the qualifications set forth in either paragraph (b), (c), (d), or (e) of this section.
(b) A person seeking election to any public office including that of President or Vice President of the United States, or nomination for any public office except that of President or Vice President, by means of a primary, general or special election, shall be considered a legally qualified candidate if, in addition to meeting the criteria set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, that person: (1) Has qualified for a place on the ballot; or

(2) Has publicly committed himself or herself to seeking election by the write-in method and is eligible under applicable law to be voted for by sticker, by writing in his or her name on the ballot or by other method, and makes a substantial showing that he or she is a bona de candidate for nomination or office

Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Title 47 United States Code)-

“Discrimination between candidates. In making time available to candidates for public office, no licensee shall make any discrimination between candidates in practices, regulations, facilities, or services for or in connection with the service rendered pursuant to this part, or make or give any preference to any candidate for public office or subject any such candidate to any prejudice or disadvantage; nor shall any licensee make any contract or other agreement which shall have the effect of permitting any legally qualified candidate for any public office to broadcast to the exclusion of other legally qualified candidates for the same public office.”

On Thursday, January 30, 2020, 03:45:32 PM PST, Clerk Election <clerk.election@lacity.org> wrote:

Dear Mr. Johnson,

In regards to your email regarding supplying a list of write-in candidates to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, we provide a list of all certified candidates to the Registrar-Recorder’s office in accordance with state-imposed deadlines. For candidates whose names appear on the ballot, we are required to have the final certified list of candidates to the Registrar-Recorder 81 days prior to the election. Likewise, we are required to have the final certified list of write-in candidates 14 days prior to the election, which in this case is February 18, 2020. Until which time we supply that list, the Registrar-Recorder has no knowledge of qualified write-in candidates for City offices or LAUSD Board seats. Based on City and State election codes, we will provide the list of certified write-in candidates to the Registrar-Recorder on February 18, 2020.

You can access the current status of write-in candidates for City offices and LAUSD seats on our Election Division website at clerk.lacity.org/elections.

We have provided the link below:

https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/WI%20Certified%20List%20of%20Candidates_0.pdf

Thank you for your inquiry.

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 5:43 PM G Johnson <( )> wrote: Dear city election clerk:

The county Registrar has published a list of write in candidates for the 2020 election. There are about 250 names on the list. Unfortunately the write in candidates for Los Angeles offices do not appear on the list.

The official I spoke to at the county claimed numerous reasons, one is that they need the February 18 finalized list of candidates from the Los Angeles City clerk and that he feels I am not a qualified and certified write in candidate. I believe this could constitute grounds to invalidate the election. I have asked the county to amend the list to include the certified write-in candidates. I spoke to the LA County Registrar today as well as wrote an email or two to the registrar.

Please let me know you have turned over to the county Registrar the list of certified write-in candidates. All rights reserved.

 

G. Juan Johnson

Candidate CD 10

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