A week after he lost the OC Supervisor D1 race, former State Senator Lou Correa was still upset that he would lose an election which he outspent Attorney Andrew Do 3 to 1. Worse, this is a district where about 43% of the registered voters are Hispanic while the Vietnamese-American voters constitute only about 25%. Yet, he would have lost by a landslide if it was not for Garden Grove City Councilman Chris Phan and TV personality Chuyen Nguyen splitting the Vietnamese-American vote.
In his anger and disappointment, he decided to go after the Vietnamese-American voters with vengeance. To him these people who voted for Andrew Do are cheaters. He reasoned in a press release in Vietnamese and English for his demand of a recount -
"My campaign has received a number of reports over the past week or so contending that people who did not really live in the First Supervisorial District registered to vote and cast ballots in this election. We have also received reports regarding irregularities in the handling and processing of vote-by-mail ballots, with campaigns collecting (and even paying for) voted ballots and returning them to the Registrar’s office or at the polls,”
Correa added that his lawyers found during the provisional ballot counting - "....provisional ballots being counted even though they were not signed by the voter; ballots cast by voters who appeared to have attempted to vote more than once; and voters who claimed to have moved into the First Supervisorial District just prior to the election without actually re-registering at their supposed new address.”
He emphasized - “....the recount will allow us to investigate and determine the scope of these and any other irregularities, to analyze whether they might have affected the outcome of the election, and to decide whether further action is warranted, either in the form of a judicial action or the District Attorney’s investigation.”
As reported by Anh Do of LA Times - "......Correa said he was notified of two election-day incidents at polling places in churches in Little Saigon where Vietnamese American volunteers urged voters to cast ballots for Do. One of them, Correa said, told people, "Remember, vote Vietnamese" and then pointed to Do's name. Others, he said, stood outside urging people to vote for Do.
But what Correa failed to mention was that the Santa Ana police was called to a Santa Ana polling station by a voter on the election day because of possible voting right violation. The woman complained to the police that when she asked for help to show her how to mark her vote for Andrew Do, the poll worker allegedly urged her to vote for Correa and pointed her to mark for Correa instead.
To emphasize the seriousness of his belief that there are voter fraud in the Viet community, he started asking the Vietnamese media to broadcast a toll free number for people to call in to report fraudulent activities
After 5 days going through the ballots and looking at every possible fraud with a team of high power lawyers, Correa suspended the recount. The election result stands, Lou lost by 43 votes.
However, his portrait of the Vietnamese-American voters in the media as cheaters and unethical are receiving major backlash in the community.
Correa is eyeing for his revenge in 2016 and so the Viet community is preparing their vote.