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Candidate claims fraud for signature confirmation process

Kelly Kulikoff, California City's mayor, upset with Kern County Election Department regarding 20th Congressional District's special election
Posted at 7:40 PM, Feb 06, 2024
  • In this video, California City Mayor Kelly Kulikoff claims there was fraud and manipulation regarding signature confirmation for the 20th Congressional District.
  • Kulikoff says he will remain on the March 5th ballot for the 20th Congressional District.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The mayor of California City accuses the Kern County Elections Department of fraud and manipulation.

I’m Steve Virgen, your Cal City neighborhood reporter.

Kelly Kulikoff is making those accusations when it comes to the 20th Congressional District for the March 19th Special Election.

He believes he was fraudulently disqualified due to invalidated signatures.

23ABC NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS REPORTER STEVE VIRGEN INTERVIEWS CALIFORNIA CITY MAYOR KELLY KULIKOFF
23ABC NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS REPORTER STEVE VIRGEN INTERVIEWS CALIFORNIA CITY MAYOR KELLY KULIKOFF

(How do they determine signatures to be invalid?)

“On three of them they were saying that, they were laughing and saying: Let’s invalidate this one because the ‘e’ didn’t loop the right way. It was like a circus when I was there. … The Kern County Elections Department was pretty much doing a power play,” Kulikoff said.

Kulikoff says 61% of his signatures were invalidated for the special election that determines the winner to take over the remaining term that Kevin McCarthy vacated.

McCarthy endorsed Vince Fong. Kulikoff, also a Republican, contends that he was disqualified to give Fong a clearer path.

If a candidate receives a majority of the votes on March 19th, that candidate wins outright.

“There was bias and conflict of interest at the Kern County Elections office,” Kulikoff said.

Kulikoff called for an investigation, notifying the Secretary of State, but was told there won’t be one. He added that the Secretary of State’s office stressed the Kern County Elections Department determines signature validation.

The Kern County Elections Department did not respond to questions or interview requests from 23 ABC.

Kulikoff remains on the upcoming March 5th primary ballot for the 20th Congressional District.

“The thing is when I get pushed back, I push harder. I’m going to push as hard as possible. I don’t like to give up, especially when somebody is doing something that I see is wrong, it just makes me push harder," Kulikoff said.

Kulikoff says he hopes that the Secretary of State will monitor the county's election process thoroughly in the future.


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