Congressional candidate Bruce Sumner, Orange County Registrar of Voters A.E. Olson and 36 county election workers are being subpoenaed to testify next week in Lyndon H. LaRouche follower Art Hoffmann's continuing attempt to overturn Sumner's write-in primary victory.
Hoffmann's bid for the Democratic nomination in the 40th Congressional District was turned back in a recount of the June 3 vote, and Sumner's nomination for the November ballot was certified by Olson a month ago.
Now, Hoffmann's supporters want to find out why the official tally swung their candidate from a 267-vote win to a 1,228-vote loss during a 16-day recount, campaign spokeswoman Maureen Pike said Friday.
"I don't think it's a question of Art versus Sumner," Pike said. ". . . I'm out to have fair elections. And I think that's the most crucial issue."
Hoffmann--a follower of political extremist LaRouche, a Leesburg, Va., writer and 1988 presidential candidate--filed a lawsuit last month in Orange County Superior Court, seeking to have himself declared the Democratic nominee or to force a new election. A hearing is set for Aug. 25.
Before then, Hoffmann's attorney wants to question poll workers about "how they counted the vote, what they did, what the process was," Pike said, to determine if there was "vote fraud or if there were just massive irregularities."
Sumner's attorney filed a motion Thursday in an attempt to block the deposition testimony, scheduled to begin Wednesday at the Irvine Host Best Western Hotel. "We have asked the court to make a protective order, to set aside these subpoenas," Sumner said Friday.
"I think what's going on is outrageous," Sumner said. ". . . I resent (that) the innocent, hard-working people who manned the polls (are) being brought in by the LaRouche people."
Superior Court Judge John C. Woolley is expected to rule Monday on Sumner's motion. The Hoffmann campaign is expected to ask then to examine about 5,200 disputed ballots.
"They're really trying to intimidate a lot of people and turn the whole process into a media carnival," said Sumner campaign consultant David Paine.
"That's silly," Pike responded. "The subpoena is obviously trying to get to the question of what really happened in this race. The Sumner people know there was a discrepancy of 1,500 votes. . . .