Update: Certified Final Official Results of the City of San Bernardino City Clerk’s General Election: Gigi Hanna by three votes.

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The certified official results in the General Municipal Election for City of San Bernardino City Clerk are that Gigi Hanna has won by three votes:

From the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters:

Last Updated: February 13, 2012 2:31 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,205 16.98%
Total 12,205 16.98%

 

City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,073 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,070 49.99%
Total 12,143 100.00%
Compared to the semi-official results below, there were 13 new ballots added to turnout, and Gigi Hanna gained 8 new votes, and Amelia Sanchez Lopez gained 6 new votes.  From these numbers, there were 62 ballots that had problems, either under votes, over votes, write-ins, or spoiled ballots.  That is the same number as on the semi-official results.
Here are the previous numbers:
Last Updated: February 7, 2012 9:20 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,192 16.96%
Total 12,192 16.96%
City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,066 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,064 49.99%
Total 12,130 100.00%

 

There is also an automatic manual recount established by Election Code section 15360.  By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be recounted manually to verify the computer count.  A minimum of one percent of all votes cast is included in the process.  This must occur before the election is certified.  The automatic manual recount is open to the public.  A court explained it like this:

“1 percent manual tally” is a procedure used in California to test whether there are any discrepancies between the electronic record generated by a voting machine and what is essentially a manual audit of that electronic record. Essentially, after each election, the “official conducting the election” is to conduct a “public manual tally of the ballots tabulated” by any voting machines “cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.” (§ 15360.)  Nguyen v. Nguyen (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1636, 1643.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

The Recount Process: What happens during a recount?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

California Elections Code section 15620 et seq. governs recounts requested by voters.  Any voter may file a request for a recount pursuant to Elections Code section 15620.

As discussed before, the recount is done publicly.  California Elections Code section 15629. The voter requesting the recount should request all ballots and other relevant material (which in the case of the San Bernardino City Clerk’s election, should include the voter envelopes that were not signed and the ballots not counted, in case there is a court challenge about whether the ballots were validly voted under California law).  Elections Code section 15630 says:

All ballots, whether voted or not, and any other relevant material, may be examined as part of any recount if the voter filing the declaration requesting the recount so requests. No examination of any ballot shall include touching or handling the ballot without the express consent of the elections official or the election officer supervising the special recount board. No ballot may be touched or handled during the examination unless the elections official or the elections officer supervising the special recount is present to observe the examination. Except as provided in this section no ballot shall be touched or handled by any person during the recount unless that person is the elections official, a person acting at the direction of the elections official, a member of the special recount board, or by order of the superior court.

The observers can challenge a ballot using the procedure found in Elections Code section 15631:

On recount, ballots may be challenged for incompleteness, ambiguity, or other defects, in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The person challenging the ballot shall state the reason for the challenge.

(b) The official counting the ballot shall count it as he or she believes proper and then set it aside with a notation as to how it was counted.

(c) The elections official shall, before the recount is completed, determine whether the challenge is to be allowed. The decision of the elections official is final.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

The San Bernardino City Clerk’s Election Results and The Recount Process in San Bernardino County

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The semi-official results in yesterday’s General Municipal Election for City of San Bernardino City Clerk are that Gigi Hanna won by two votes:

Last Updated: February 7, 2012 9:20 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,192 16.96%
Total 12,192 16.96%
City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,066 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,064 49.99%
Total 12,130 100.00%

Close elections sometimes involve recounts. It can involve a closer look to see if ballots were correctly counted by machines and if any votes counted were illegal or improperly voted.

California Elections Code section 15620 et seq. governs recounts requested by voters.  Any voter may file a request for a recount pursuant to Elections Code section 15620.  The request must be filed no later than five days after the completion of the official canvass.  The completion of the canvass occurs when the elections official signs the Certification of  Election Results.  Elections Code section 15620.

The request must be in writing, specify the contest to be recounted, and state on behalf of which candidate (in this case), slate of electors, or position on a measure it is filed.  Elections Code section 15620.  The request may specify the order in which precincts shall be recounted, it may specify the method of counting to be used, and any other relevant material to be examined.  Elections Code sections 15622, 15627, 15630.

If it is not a statewide measure, as this is not, the request needs to be filed with the county election official responsible for conducting the election.  However, the request needs to be filed with the City Clerk if it is a city election or if the city has not consolidated with the County.  Elections Code section 15620.

The election official will post a notice stating the date and place of the recount at least one day before the recount, and the candidates will be notified by overnight mail or personally.  Elections Code section 15628.

A recount is open to the public, and must start no later than seven days following the receipt of the request and shall be continued daily, except for Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, for no less than six hours a day until completed.  Elections Code sections 15626, 15629.  A manual recount must be conducted under the supervision of the election official by recount boards, (each consisting of four San Bernardino County voters), appointed by the election official.  Elections Code section 15625.  Every vote in every precinct must be recounted, or the results are null and void, and if a different candidate wins, the results of the official canvass will be changed.  Elections Code section 15632.  A copy of the results shall be posted conspicuously in the office of the election official.  Elections Code section 15633.

There is a cost associated with a recount, and the amount for this San Bernardino City Clerk General Municipal Election recount, should it occur, will depend on a variety of factors.  The election official determines the amount of the deposit necessary to cover the costs of the recount for each day.  The voter filling the request must deposit, before the start of the recount and at the beginning of each day , the amounts to cover the cost of each day.  If the results are reversed, the deposit must be returned.  Elections Code section 15624.

How much will the recount be, if one is requested?  San Bernardino County does not give the typical fees, but some other California Counties do (information was obtained from the Internet and is not necessarily reliable or up-to-date:

Santa Cruz:

COST BREAKDOWN FOR MANUAL TALLY:

  • 1 Board $240 – Supervisor Pay $325 – Cost per day $565
  • 2 Boards $480 – Supervisor Pay $500 – Cost per day $980
  • 3 Boards $720 – Supervisor Pay $675 – Cost per day $1395

Sutter:

COST AND PAYMENT
Manual Tally Recount Fees
Number of Boards Fee Per Day
1 $969.00
2 $1,674.00
3 $2,379.00

Other Costs
Item Fee
Legal Notices Actual Cost
Security Actual Cost
Computer Support $106.00/hr
Materials Actual Cost
Copy Charges Per Code/Resolution
Postage Actual Cost
County Counsel $112.00/hr
Accounting $56.57/hr

There is also an automatic manual recount established by Election Code section 15360.  By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be recounted manually to verify the computer count.  A minimum of one percent of all votes cast is included in the process.  This must occur before the election is certified.  The automatic manual recount is open to the public.  A court explained it like this:

“1 percent manual tally” is a procedure used in California to test whether there are any discrepancies between the electronic record generated by a voting machine and what is essentially a manual audit of that electronic record. Essentially, after each election, the “official conducting the election” is to conduct a “public manual tally of the ballots tabulated” by any voting machines “cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.” (§ 15360.)  Nguyen v. Nguyen (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1636, 1643.

There are court challenges available after the recount, but since the recount in this case is mere speculation, they will be discussed at a later time.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Duties of the City Clerk Under California Law In a General Law California City

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

In a general law California city, the City Clerk’s duties are created by state law and by city or town ordinances and resolutions.  State law establishes the duties of  a general law City Clerk in Government Code section 40801, et seq.

The Duties of the California general law City Clerk are:

1. Clerical: Keep accurate record of the legislative body and board of equalization in books bearing appropriate titles and devoted exclusively to such purposes  with a comprehensive general index. The City Clerk shall keep an ordinance book and record all certified city ordinances.   The record with the certificate is prima facie evidence of the ordinance’s passage, publication and contents.  The official records should not be filed in any court proceeding.  The City Clerk is the custodian of the city seal.  The City Clerk can administer City oaths, take and certify City affidavits and depositions, and appoint deputies.  (Government Code sections 40801, 40806, 40807, 40813, 40814);

2. Financial: The City Clerk is the City’s accounting officer and shall retain records reflecting the City’s financial condition.  The City Clerk shall cause to be published a summary of the City’s financial report (required by Government Code section 53891 in the form prescribed by the the State Controller) once in a newspaper of general circulation, or if no newspaper, according to code, and posted no later than 120 days after the fiscal year’s close, and the clerk’s financial and accounting duties can be transferred to the finance director.  The City clerk is the ex officio assessor for the assessment and collection of city taxes unless delegated to the county.  (Government Code sections 40802, 40804, 40805, 40805.5, 40810); and

3. Other:  The City Clerk shall perform “such additional duties as are prescribed by ordinance.” ( Government Code section 40812).

 

The City Clerk also has duties created by the Election Code regarding elections and other duties in the Government Code, such as notifying the county board of supervisors regarding the change of a place name or number (Government Code section 34092).  The Government Claims Act allows a government claim to be filed with a city clerk.  Government Code section 915(a)(1).  The City Clerk is also receives Statements of Economic Interest under the Political Reform Act, as well as other duties under the Act.  Government Code section 87500(f).
Other duties can be prescribed by ordinance.  The City of Rancho Cucamonga, for example, requires certain documents on appeals to be filed with the City Clerk.  As I have mentioned before, often California Public Records Act requests are routed through or answered by the City Clerk.  The City Clerk in Redlands sold Fourth of July tickets at the University of Redlands on behalf of  the Redlands 4th of July Committee, Inc.  Many City Clerks process passports for the State Department.

 

A charter law City’s City Clerk’s duties will be created by the City’s Charter.  For example, the City of San Bernardino’s City Charter, Section 60 is very similar to the Government Code’s prescribed duties.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 708-6055