A citizens group claimed Wednesday that about 300 voters in Venice cast ballots even though the addresses for them on precinct ballot rosters were wrong or in some cases, were for residences that have been vacant for years.
The Committee for Election Integrity, which includes former workers or supporters of South Bay congressional candidate Susan Brooks, called on the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder to investigate their claims to see if any instances of fraud can be confirmed.
Brooks, citing voter irregularities, has not conceded in the 36th Congressional District race against Rep. Jane Harman (D-Rolling Hills), who won the ballot count by 812 votes. The district runs from Venice to San Pedro.
"The evidence is very clear that these irregularities are on a much larger scale than anyone in a position of responsibility is willing to admit," said El Segundo Councilman Liam Weston, who is leading the effort by the committee.
Harman's campaign spokesman, Roy Behr, dismissed the efforts as politically motivated.
"They have yet to provide a shred of evidence that the alleged irregularities would have changed the outcome of the election by one vote," he said. "These are run-of-the-mill, standard issues that come up in every campaign across the country."
Weston, however, cited a specific discrepancy involving an address written by a voter at a Venice precinct as an example of the possible irregularities his group has found. Next to her signature on the ballot roster, the voter gave her address as 659 San Juan Ave. But the home has been vacant since 1991, according to its owner, who appeared at a news conference Wednesday with Weston in front of the shuttered building.
"We have not concluded anything at all at this point," Weston said. "I am not suggesting anyone has done anything illegal. I am suggesting that irregularities exist that should be investigated."
Also at the news conference was Harold Ezell, a key supporter of Proposition 187, which denies a range of public services to illegal immigrants.
Ezell, who is now leading the Voter Fraud Task Force, charged this week that 77% of the precincts in Harman's district contain "questionable returns." In a separate study, he cites instances where the vote counts kept by precinct workers did not match the certified count of the Los Angeles County registrar of voters.
"If Orange County has to file for bankruptcy, the Los Angeles County registrar ought to file for bankruptcy because of the way they handled this election," Ezell said.
Members of Weston's group found the 300 cases after canvassing about 1,200 homes in seven Venice precincts, Weston said. Workers tried to contact voters over the phone, through the mail and at their homes to determine where they lived, he said.
"I call them 300 mysteries," Weston said. "It's not empirical evidence. It's the best evidence that we gathered."
The 36th Congressional District contains 547 precincts.
But Los Angeles County registrar-recorder spokeswoman Marcia Ventura said that they have so far found no evidence of voter fraud. And she said that neither Weston's group nor Ezell's task force has filed a formal complaint with the office.