Republican group claims voter fraud on eve of election, elections officials deny claim



The California Republican National Hispanic Assembly dropped off a list with the Kern County Elections Department this morning. 
It lists 26 voters. Seventeen registered Democrats, two Republicans and seven with no registered affiliation. 
The partisan group says the listed voters didn't receive their mailed ballot, but that their ballots were still cast early in the special election for the 16th district state senate seat - a claim election workers would later refute.
Louis Alvarado, chairman of the RNHA of Los Angeles delivered his organizations findings late this morning. 

"What we found is that 100 percent of the houses that we went to had some kind of discrepancy," Alvarado said. "Either because it was an abandoned home or because the actual registered voter indicated that he had not voted. We found through the (Kern County Elections Department) here, that they demonstrated a vote was cast on their behalf," Alvarado said.


That was after the RNHA spent part of last week, going door-to-door checking out votes that were brought to their attention. 


This morning they brought their findings to the Kern County Elections Department. 


"We wanted to bring it up to the attention of the authorities so they can conduct an official investigation as to how many people are actually taking advantage of the voting process," Alvarado said. 


The RNHA believes that there is a rather large voter fraud problem, beyond its small sampling.


"I would consider it to be in the hundreds if not thousands of votes that had been casted (illegally)," he added.


But Karen Rahe, chief deputy county clerk with county elections, showed the 26 ballots in question this afternoon. The ballots are back in the hands of election workers, but not because they were cast, Rhea claimed.


"There were 26. No one cast any of the 26," she said. "They were returned to us by the post office as undeliverable because the voter didn't reside there. The system worked the way it was intended."


The 26 ballots are part of more than 1,800 that were returned as undeliverable for the 16th district state senate seat special election, according to Rhea. 


"They could have checked any of these on our website," Rhea said. "It would have indicated that it was returned undeliverable. Or they could have picked up the phone and called." 


The RNHA was able to purchase voter registration information from the county, as it is public record. 


"Campaigns can purchase files and basically determine who has voted already, who has returned their ballot.," she said. "It is a way for them to contact voters and get out the vote."


Rhea asserted that measures are in place, so that voter fraud through mailed ballots can be avoided.


"The vote by mail process is something that we take very seriously," Rhea said. "We have a lot of voters voting by mail and we do a lot to consider the integrity of the election." 


When reached by phone and told of the county's claim that no fraud was committed, Alvarado said that he stands by the findings his organization presented to the Kern County Elections Office earlier this morning. 

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