After a recount, incumbent Marcia Martin's margin of victory in the March 3 Redondo Beach City Council election was cut to just five votes over challenger Steve Colin, who said he may contest the election by challenging the registration of some voters.
Martin, who holds the District 3 council seat, said Colin is just a "sore loser."
Colin, an attorney, paid $137 for the recount this week after the original tally showed him trailing Martin by nine votes--563 to 554.
Colin said this week that he plans to check the registrations of 32 voters. If he finds enough irregularities, he will contest the election in court, he said.
"The man is the sorriest loser I've ever seen in my life," Martin said in an interview. "I've never seen anyone be so childish and just carry it on and on and on. . . . Whether I beat him by one vote or 500 votes, I still beat him."
She said she does not have the time to challenge anyone's vote and wants to get on with governing the city for the next four years.
'It's Just Sour Grapes'
Colin said Martin, "who at this point won, is acting more like a loser. It's just sour grapes on her part." He said he has the legal right to contest the election and has an obligation to the people who supported him to make sure that the votes are counted fairly.
If Colin contests the election, he must file a complaint with the County Clerk's Office by April 9. A hearing before a Superior Court judge would then be scheduled, probably within a month, according to Tony Antenorcruz, who handles such complaints for the clerk's office. A judge could invalidate the election, he said.
Two of the people Colin said he is considering challenging are Redondo Beach Police Sgt. Randy Martin--the incumbent's ex-husband--and city treasurer candidate William MacAlpin.
Colin said that Randy Martin should not have voted in a Redondo Beach election because he is no longer a resident. Department of Motor Vehicle records show that Martin changed his address to a Via Pasqual residence in Torrance effective Feb. 26. His previous address with the DMV was on Meyer Lane, which is in District 3.
Martin said he still owns a house on Spreckels Lane, in District 3, where Marcia Martin lives. He has been registered to vote at that address since April, 1981, although he has not lived there since the couple divorced four years ago, Marcia Martin said.
Property ownership makes no difference, however, said Marcia Ventura, press relations officer for the county registrar-recorder. She said people must vote where they live.
Armour Lane Address
"I didn't know I was doing anything wrong," Randy Martin said, "I've been voting at the same place for years and years and years. It's not like I just registered so I could vote for my ex-wife."
And, he said, maybe he voted for Colin.
MacAlpin's residency was originally made an issue by city Treasurer Alice DeLong during her reelection campaign. MacAlpin said he lives at 1815 Armour Lane, but he registered to vote on Dec. 1 at another address--120 The Village, in The Village condominium complex. He changed his address with the registrar's office Dec. 14 to the Armour Lane address.