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Judge Rules Errors Didn't Affect Compton Vote


A judge said Wednesday that Compton City Clerk Charles Davis "failed in his duties" to properly supervise the June 5 mayoral election, but ruled that resulting errors did not affect the election's outcome.

Superior Court Judge Judith Chirlin issued her ruling after attorneys representing former Mayor Omar Bradley and current Mayor Eric Perrodin agreed that workers in 30 of Compton's voting precincts had filled out certification documents incompletely.

Chirlin said responsibility for "errors and irregularities . . . falls squarely on the shoulders of the person responsible for supervising the election."

The errors and omissions included missing tallies of voters, failure to note which voters had received absentee ballots and missing precinct worker signatures.

It isn't known, however, whether Wednesday's ruling will ultimately affect the outcome of Bradley's lawsuit challenging the election, which he lost by 261 votes.

The ruling ended the fourth phase of the trial, which Chirlin is hearing in seven phases, or "mini trials."

Bradley's attorney, Bradley Hertz, said the ruling is "more dirt added to the mountain of evidence that the judge will have to consider when she decides whether the election reflects the will of Compton's voters."

But Bruce Gridley, the attorney representing Compton, stressed Chirlin's finding that the errors did not affect the election's outcome.

Bradley's attorneys, he said, "came into this trial claiming some kind of wide-ranging conspiracy, but what they've come down to is documents that aren't completely filled out."

After the ruling, Chirlin began hearing arguments in the trial's fifth phase, in which Bradley's attorneys will try to disqualify more than 500 absentee ballots because signatures on them and their envelopes didn't match, they say.

Bradley's attorneys say Chirlin should make a final ruling based on the cumulative results of the trial's phases.

Compton's attorneys say Bradley must show enough evidence to prevail on a single phase.

Chirlin has put off that decision until all phases of the trial are complete, according to attorneys for both sides.

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