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CARSON : Group Charges Fraud Over Absentee Ballots

A political group is challenging the absentee ballots that brought candidates Michael I. Mitoma, Lorelie S. Olaes and Mary Louise Custer from behind to win the April 12 election.

Members of United Voice sent a letter to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office this week requesting an investigation into how the absentee ballots were handled.

“We did some investigating into the names of some of the people that voted,” said Joseph Alford, one of the founders of United Voice. Alford said United Voice believes that some people voted twice and that some residences had more voters registered at an address than the number of people living there.

Alford said the group also has information that non-citizens registered and voted in the election.

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Walter Clark, president of United Voice, said the group wants to be sure the election process is fair because four seats on the council will be contested in 1996.

To pursue the issue, Deputy Dist. Atty. Chris Darden said his office would need the names on the allegedly fraudulent ballots, as well as dates, places and times of alleged misconduct.

When all 30 precincts reported their votes on the evening of Election Day, James H. Peoples led the mayoral race by 182 votes; Keith McDonald led the race for an open council seat by 152 votes, and Phyllis Y. Tucker was ahead of the incumbent treasurer by 581 votes.

In each of these races, absentee ballots determined the final results in the election.

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