The county has closed its investigation of alleged absentee ballot fraud in a Pomona city election without filing criminal charges, and will take no further action in the matter, Candace Beason of the county district attorney's special investigations division said.

In a letter to City Clerk Joyce Herr, who requested the investigation last April after discovering what she thought were improperly completed ballots, Beason said that at least three voters whose absentee ballots were disqualified as forgeries later told investigators that the ballots had been signed properly.

Beason's letter said several absentee voters contacted by her office were critical of the city's handling of the April runoff election, and that minority campaign workers and candidates charged that there were deliberate efforts on the part of city officials to discourage minority participation in the election process. The letter said the claims were not supported by enough evidence to warrant a criminal investigation, and would be best handled in a lawsuit recently filed in federal court against the city by unsuccessful minority political candidates, who say the city's at-large election system disenfranchises minority voters.

The absentee ballots in question were collected by minority campaign workers in areas of the city with large minority populations.

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