Keith D. Boyer on Wednesday was chosen as acting registrar of voters by San Diego County Chief Administrative Officer Norman Hickey.

Boyer, assistant registrar since 1976, will replace Ray J. Ortiz, who has requested an unpaid leave of absence until the district attorney completes a criminal investigation of the registrar's office. Hickey granted Ortiz the indefinite leave effective today.

Boyer has been with the registrar's office for 15 years. He served as acting registrar for 10 months in 1978 and 1979, and conducted the 1978 gubernatorial election in San Diego County.

Ortiz said he requested the leave because he could not conduct the business of the registrar's office under the cloud of the investigation. According to Ortiz and other county officials, the investigation centers on contracts let by Ortiz, travel by Ortiz and other employees of the office, and the registrar's use of rental cars at election time.

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