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ORANGE COUNTY ELECTION INQUIRY

Voices

March 16, 1997

Here is a sampling of what politicians, government officials, civil rights attorneys and others involved in immigration issues are saying in the aftermath of Secretary of State Bill Jones' announcement Friday that he has ordered a review of all 1.3 million names on Orange County's voter registration roll.

The review, Jones said, is based on a determination that 721 people who were in the process of becoming citizens registered to vote unlawfully before November's election.

Jones said he hopes to compare the county's voter registration roll with records supplied by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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"Our Constitution mandates that only citizens can elect their representatives and leaders. If we don't make every effort to uphold the laws, then we make a mockery of them. This issue is not about [political] party; it is not about winners and losers; it's about what's right."

--Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside)

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--It's unprecedented, and I think that Jones is taking the taxpayers for a ride. . . . It's obvious from the circumstances that voters were operating in good faith. I've yet to hear an example of what one would characterize as classic voter fraud."

--Chris Sautter, an attorney and recount specialist with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

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"If you are an American citizen, you have nothing to hide."

--Harold Ezell, former INS regional commissioner and chairman of Americans for Immigration Reform

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"We'll sit down on Monday morning and see what they [secretary of state's officials] have given us. We'll need technical people involved, we'll need to look at the legal issues. What are the implications? And what is the feasibility of even getting this information?"

--Virginia Kice, an INS spokeswoman in Laguna Niguel

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"INS records are a nightmare. You could place more confidence in a Ouija board."

--Mark Rosenberg, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union

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"This is a dangerous, ominous and partisan abuse of the power of government. It is 'Big Brother' overkill, which puts more than a million taxpaying Americans under suspicion without justifiable cause."

--Steve Jost, chief of staff to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove)

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"Regardless of what people think of 'B-1 Bob' Dornan, every single law-abiding voter should be indebted to him for forcing national attention on this problem."

--Barbara Coe of California Coalition for Immigration Reform, a prime backer of Proposition 187

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"It's picking on Hispanics, which is something Republicans have been engaged in for years now, because they think they can get away with it. That's the Republican mentality--to pick on people who are from lower socioeconomic levels."

--Mark Rosen, attorney for Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, the Latino rights organization under investigation for alleged voter fraud

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"The implications of the investigations to date extend far beyond the 46th Congressional District. These recent events, more than anything, have drawn attention to the need for thorough house-cleaning of voter lists and registration procedures to ensure that every legitimate voters' views count."

--Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach)

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"Bill Jones has saved me a lot of grief. Now, this won't be seen as a pure Hispanic thing any longer. This search means we will come up with Irishmen and Albanians and white South Africans and a lot of Vietnamese, who [all] registered illegally. Checking the whole county is good for fairness, good for the county and good for the once and future Congressman Bob Dornan."

--Robert K. Dornan, former congressman from Garden Grove

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