There is some concern in the race for District 3 between Supervisor Julie Christensen and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin that some elderly Chinatown residents are having their ballots filled out by someone other than themselves. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Democratic Party may amend unworkable voter fraud fix

http://www.sfexaminer.com/category/the-city/sf-news-columns/on-guard/

One politico will urge the local Democratic Party to curb voter fraud Wednesday night, but now another politico is saying his solution is unworkable — and is offering an alternative.

Yesterday, this column reported that local political consultant Tom Hsieh accused Chinatown operatives of defrauding Chinese seniors of their votes, illegally taking and filling out their ballots in their stead.

On Wednesday, Hsieh will ask the local Democratic Party, the Democratic County Central Committee, to pass a resolution urging the Department of Elections give a “second chance to vote” to those who are frauded.

Though the DCCC has no authority to command DOE to do anything, a resolution from the party would apply significant political pressure.

There’s just one problem: Hsieh’s fix is “impossible.”

That’s the word chosen by John Arntz, head of the DOE, when asked about Hsieh’s solution. “There’s no mechanism in the law to allow someone to vote a second ballot once it’s been processed and pulled from the envelope,” Arntz said.

In light of this, DCCC member Matt Dorsey aims to fix Hsieh’s resolution. In an email to DCCC members obtained by the San Francsico Examiner, Dorsey instead proposes asking the DOE to “employ all means available under the law” to allow Chinese seniors to vote as they intend.

“Folks, let’s not embarrass ourselves for not knowing the California Elections Code,” Dorsey wrote. Dorsey also wants to “remove District 3 supervisorial campaign politics and finger­pointing from the debate.”

The District 3 supervisor race is at fever pitch, with both Supervisor Julie Christensen and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin jockeying to represent Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and the rest of the district.

Hsieh was paid $107,000 to perform campaign work for Christensen, among other campaign work, which certainly colors his voter fraud accusations. Of course, that doesn’t mean his accusations aren’t true.

Recognizing that, Dorsey’s amendment urges authorities to prosecute voter fraud to the law’s “fullest extent.” Making this about any one District 3 candidate “trivializes the issue,” Dorsey told me.

“We, democrats, oppose voter fraud in all cases,” he said, adding his amendment “acknowledges there are allegations on boths sides.”

On Wednesday night, we’ll find out if this is a political ploy or actually about protecting Chinatown seniors.

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email him at joe@sfexaminer.com.

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