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South Gate : Election Proper, Judge Rules

June 23, 1988

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that the South Gate city clerk correctly conducted the April 12 municipal election in which veteran Councilman Henry C. Gonzalez was defeated.

Judge Howard J. Thelin last week dismissed Gonzalez' complaint alleging that City Clerk Janet Stubbs made errors in counting absentee ballots in the race for two council seats. Gonzalez also claimed that Stubbs failed to collect absentee ballots that might have been at the post office when the polls closed.

Gonzalez and incumbent John Sheehy were defeated by Robert A. Philipp and Dorothea Lombardo. Gonzalez lost by seven votes.

The court ruled that Stubbs acted properly when she did not count 12 absentee ballots that arrived from the post office the day after the election. The court also ruled that the city clerk was not required to go to the post office to pick up any undelivered absentee ballots.

The clerk also acted properly when she eliminated 12 other absentee ballots that were not signed or contained signatures that did not match those on the absentee ballot applications, the court ruled.

Before the court action, Gonzalez had requested a recount, which confirmed the Election Day results.

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