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SAN GABRIEL VALLEY DIGEST

Pomona : Ballot Suit Appealed Again

September 03, 1987

A lawsuit seeking to count 354 unopened absentee ballots left over from a 1983 Pomona school board race has been appealed to the state Supreme Court for the second time in 3 1/2 years.

The attorney for Nancy J. McCracken, who defeated Bill Samora by 323 votes, said he has asked the court to block the counting of the ballots, which were disqualified by the county registrar-recorder on Election Day because they were returned by people other than the voters who filled them out.

The lawsuit, filed by Samora on Dec. 20, 1983, seeks to have the votes counted because of what he believed was a vague law regarding the third-party delivery of ballots.

The suit first was dismissed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles E. Jones in 1984. Samora appealed, but the state Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal. Samora then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which in 1986 remanded the case back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration.

The Court of Appeal reversed itself and returned the case to Los Angeles Superior Court, where Judge Jack Tenner ordered the ballots counted on July 31, 1987.

While the ballots were being counted in Tenner's courtroom, the Court of Appeal telephoned and temporarily halted the counting. After considering the case again, however, the appellate court last week reaffirmed its position and ordered the ballots counted.

Craig Mordoh, McCracken's attorney, said he filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court on Monday to block the counting.

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