Thursday, December 29, 2016

An Imperfect ROV

With second recount progressing onto the 7th day,  a finding of 31 disqualified ballots were tallied by mistake has given Jimmy Nguyen's camp another set of grievances to take this election to court.  The ROV admitted the mistake but there is no recourse since it is too late to determine  which ballots are for which candidate.  In an election of that separated by 68 votes, every ballot counts.

Sylvia Arenas is starting her job next week along with Lan Diep.   It will be the first time that SJC will have two seating councilmembers serving while the election results are being contested.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Recount Day 6 at ROV

Jimmy Nguyen, candidate for SJC Council D8, is still at it.  Strategically, the recount is now focusing at duplicate ballots and spoiled" ballots.  Nguyen  is expected to end the recount this Friday unless there are unexpected issues.

He so far has challenged about 150 VBM ballots.  Out of the challenged VBM ballots,  there are 79 voters whom he claimed were disenfranchised since their votes did not count because of the different signature on file.   He actually tracked them down and asked them to sign a statement demanding the ROV to count their votes for him.

The ROV declined to consider such statement since election law prevents the ROV from considering extrinsic evidence and documents.

If he cannot convince the ROV to overturn some of the results based on his finding, he will likely take the case to court.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Third Day of Recount Going on Fourth Day at ROV

The final tally from the manual recount for SJC Council in D8  is 17,230 votes for Sylvia Arenas and 17,162 for Jimmy Nguyen, a 68 votes difference.   This is the third day of the voter-initiated recount and  Jimmy is challenging 118 VBM ballots and is looking at duplicate ballots.   He is paying about $1,600 a day for a limited recount since he did not have the funding to go full out.  

The rule of the recount is that it has to be consecutive and if there is a break in the process, the recount is considered to be over.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sylvia Arenas Sworn In as Councilmember of D8

In a calculated move,  Sylvia Arenas was quietly sworn in over the weekend as the new Councilmember of SJC D8.   Typically, the newly-elected officials are sworn in early January with all the pomps and circumstances and not on the weekend in December just before Christmas where the city offices are basically shutting down.

However, with the voter-initiated recount started this week and anything could happen at the ROV with their unimpressive records of missing ballots and accusation of possible fraud, Jimmy Nguyen with his lawyer and consultants might have a chance to overturn this election or at least will try to.

Arenas is just hedging the bet and tries to make it difficult for any judge or jury to overturn an election against a  presiding elected official.

There are a number of VBM ballots that the ROV has rejected due to no matching signature.   A lot of them are from Vietnamese-American voters so Jimmy is focusing his earliest effort on these.  The second focus is the duplicate ballots to ensure that they are the same as orginals.

Jimmy Nguyen is planning to challenge hundreds if not thousands of ballots.   His strategy is to  find many mistakes as possible.   His objective is two folds - to overtake Arenas if possible and if not, to have a strong case for a lawsuit.

Monday, December 19, 2016

ROV To Release D4 Ballots for Forensic

Three weeks ago, the judge presiding on the lawsuit of the ballot recount of  SJC Council D4 race had asked the ROV to release the requested batch of ballots.   Tomorrow is the deadline for the ROV to submit the ballots to an independent forensic lab  to test for possible fraud at the request of Manh Nguyen.

If the result concluded that there is evidence of fraud, the county counsel will likely nullify the election result.  

One of the  contentions of the lawsuit is that there might be a ballot (s) where the original has different markings with different ink.  The difference is striking enough so that it can easily be seen as if there are two people marking the ballot.    If forensic can prove that the ink used to mark the ballot is the same ink that is being used to initial  and mark the duplicate, Manh Nguyen will have a case of fraud.  

But this is only one of many strategies that Manh Nguyen is aiming for.   He will also contest the fact that there are still hundreds of missing ballots that are unaccounted for and in a race where there is only 12 votes difference, Lan Diep's victory should not be declared by the ROV.  

Stay tune for the a legal fight that will drag out well into the summer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Phan Ngo Becomes Sunnyvale Police Chief

San Jose City Deputy Chief Phan Ngo, 50,  has been selected to be the new chief of Sunnyvale, a Bay Area city of about 150,000 people.   A police veteran for 27 years, he is the first Vietnamese-American to be head of any police department in California.   Phan Ngo is married with 2 children and came to the US when he was 8 years old.    A familiar face of the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose, he is well liked.  A year ago, there was talk of a movement by the community to ask Mayor Sam Liccardo to appoint him the next SJPD chief.

See link for more story:

Jimmy Nguyen Asks for a Second Manual Recount

It is now official,  Jim Nguyen, candidate for San Jose City Council D8,  has asked for a second manual recount.  In the letter to ROV, he laid out his requests to first review all rejected vote-by-mail and provisional ballot envelopes, all defective or "spoiled" ballots which were remade by Registrar staff during the canvass.   He is also asking to audit all tally sheets to see if there are any discrepancies in the number of ballots.

This strategy is designed to first aim at the weakness of the ROV that was exposed during the recount of the City Council D4 election between Manh Nguyen and Lan Diep.

The cost of the recount is at $3,300 per day as charged by the ROV.   The recount will start 12/20.   For now, Jimmy Nguyen is official behind Sylvia Arenas by 97 votes.

In response, Sylvia Arenas has also asked for a recount.  This is just a legal maneuver to give her an option if she needs  (since the deadline to ask for any recount is today) and put on notice that she will challenge any unfavorable decision made by the ROV.

LSI thinks that this election will likely be dragged to court similar to what is happening with D4.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jimmy Nguyen Plans to Pay for A Second Recount

After the automatic manual recount,  Jimmy Nguyen is behind by 97 votes.  LSI  reported 77 votes last week but that was apparently not taken account to some newly found ballots, 147 more to be exact.    He plans to ask for a second recount in a number of  precincts that have high Hispanic voter turnout.   It will cost about $2,500 a day plus legal fee.  The second recount will not start until next week.

What a year for recount in San Jose!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Andrew Do Wins Supervisor D1 Race

Andrew Do finally can declare himself the winner of the Supervisor D1 race against Michelle Martinez.   An unprecedented 151,623 ballots were cast and Do won by 657 votes.   There are now less than 50 votes left to be tallied for D1 and it is unlike that Martinez can catch up.

The tidal wave of Hispanic voter turn-out  in this presidential election has caused a number of notable races in Orange County to be Blue instead of  Red.   The biggest upset of the day is Ling- Ling Chang (R) lost to Josh Newman (D) and the California State Senate now has the super majority.   

After Recount, Sylvia Wins by 77 Votes

The recount for San Jose City Council D8 race is completed after two days and Sylvia Arenas won by 77 votes over Jimmy Nguyen.  It was an upset win for Arenas for Nguyen outspent her 2 to 1 and received the endorsements of most of the leaders in San Jose politics including Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, Former Mayor Chuck Reed, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilmembers Manh Nguyen and Tam Nguyen.

The final tally will be published next week as ROV is finalized the audit of all recounts to make sure that all ballots match up between manual tally and machine tally.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

San Jose City Council D8 Recount

Sylvia Arenas is now leading by 78 votes as Jimmy Nguyen gains on write-in ballots.  Most of the 34,271 ballots have been recounted.  The process should be done by tomorrow according to schedule, unlike the D4 recount saga earlier this year where it took 3 days to manual recount about 17,000 ballots.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Andrew Do Ahead in OC Supervisor D1 Race

More than two weeks after the election, the finally tally is almost done for the Supervisor D1 race.   This is a race where the  Democrat Party is hoping to take the seat back.  Lou Correa lost to Andrew Do by 43 votes in a special election in 2015.  After all, the district has 9% more registered Democrats than Republicans.  The Trump Factor also resulted in an unprecedented high Hispanic turnout.   In the primary, Santa Ana City Councilmember Michelle Martinez beat current Supervisor Andrew Do by almost 4%.

On Election Night, Do was leading by more than 10,000 votes.   Do's lead now has shrunk to 1,059 votes as a large number of ballots from Santa Ana came in.

Now with about 2,900 votes left to tally, mostly in Garden Grove, Fountain Valley and Westminster (ballots from the three Vietnamese-American strongholds), it is unlikely that Martinez will catch up.

The 2016 OC election results can be interpreted as this is either a once in a lifetime election cycle or a trend that will turn OC eventually Blue.

Supervisor 1st District
Completed Precincts: 209 of 209
Vote CountPercentage
* ANDREW DO74,79850.4%

Side Note: At State Senate level, Ling Ling Chang (R) is losing to Josh Newman (D) by 1,527 votes.   The trend is against her for the last two weeks in Orange County and LA County, the two county where more than 90% of the votes are.   If she lost, the Democrats will have supermajority in Senate as well as Assembly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sylvia Arenas Ahead by 87 Votes After Final Tally

All the ballots are tallied for San Jose City Council D8.   Jimmy Nguyen has for at least now lost the election to Sylvia Arenas by 87 votes (50.13% to 49.87%) out of a total of 34,265 ballots cast

The manual automatic recount will occur next week as mandated by county voting law when the difference is less than 0.5%.   When it comes to recount, nothing is certain.  So this election night will likely carry on for another 2 weeks or more depending on whether Nguyen will need to have a second recount or not.

Nguyen outspent Arenas 2 to 1 with  Chamber of Commerce and National  Association of Realtors spending close to $150,000 in his support.

He also received the support of Rose Herrera, the outgoing Vice Mayor and D8 residence, as well as well known community leaders of D8 - Pat Waite and Denise Belisle.   Former Mayor Chuck Reed also gave him a ringing endorsement.   The Vietnamese-Americans  in D8 constitute 22% of the total registered voters.

He was the favorite to win the election since he has name recognition with strong endorsements.   He ran 4 years ago and lost to Herrera in a landslide.

LSI has observed 3 recounts involving Vietnamese-American candidates in the last 8 years from Orange County to Santa Clara County.  It is an emotional roller coaster and whoever wins this race deserve a big medal for mental toughness.

Monday, November 21, 2016

San Jose City Council D8 Race Heading For Recount

With about 120 ballots left, Sylvia Arenas is now ahead of Jimmy Nguyen by 88 votes out of a total of 34,220 ballots counted.   The lead has swung back and forth in the last 5 days.   Jimmy was ahead by 84 votes 5 days ago.

The recount will be initiated soon after all the ballots have been counted.   It is excruciating for both candidates to go through the ordeal of such a tight race without knowing what their fate will be.   It is only luck at this stage. 

The Waiting Game for OC Supervisor D1 Race

Almost two weeks after the election, the race for Orange County Supervisor D1 has not been settled yet.  Andrew Do is leading Michele Martinez by 4,398 votes after 134,944 ballots counted.  With still about 12,000 ballots left to be counted, there is still a small chance for Martinez to catch up because these ballots are coming in from heavy populated Hispanic area.

Do was leading 5,902 votes after 107,840 ballots counted 5 days ago.  He lost ground steadily but his lead is substantial enough that his supporters are hoping that it will hold.

Hopefully by Thanksgiving, the picture will be clearer.

Another Recount in San Jose City Council Election

With about 1,000 ballots (including provisional ballots) left to be counted and the difference  margin will likely be less than 0.50%, the city council race for D8 appears to head for an automatic recount.   After 33,889 ballots counted, Sylvia Arenas is 51 votes ahead of Jimmy Nguyen, 50.08% vs. 49.92%.

The race is far from over for both candidates as they practically are living out of the ROV building for almost two weeks now.  This will mark the second time this year a race involved Vietnamese-American candidate is facing recount.  And the margin of victory could be decided by a few votes.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Jimmy Nguyen Takes An Aggressive Stance

The election for city council in San Jose City  D8 is taking an interest tone after Election Day.   With still about 7,000 to 8,000 ballots left to count,  Sylvia Arenas has taken a 51 votes lead.   On Election Night, she started out with a 730 votes deficit.  The trend has been in her favorite as the Hispanic tends not to vote with absentee ballot.

One of Jimmy Nguyen's advisors,  Bryan Do, the same person who ran City Councilmember Manh Nguyen's campaign, advised him on strategies on how to maneuver the  ROV to their advantage.  Recently, he and Manh Nguyen went through a painful process with the recount in which Lan Diep won.

Nguyen took it to heart and decided to take an aggressive stance against in-coming ballots for the last 3 day.   He and his team are camping out at the ROV and starting to canvassing and  challenge ballots already.

It is quite unusual to do this since ROV is still the process of their normal counting ballots.   Yet Jimmy is putting pressure and gaming the ROV as if this is a recount procedure.

Arenas was caught by surprised  and vividly upset  by this development so she send out an email on Facebook to her supporters -

Today, I brought my kids to the Registrar of Voters office and to my surprise I found that my opponent Jimmy Nguyen had been challenging District 8 ballots for several hours. It was painful that my son had to see this.
The majority of challenged ballots are directed specifically towards latino voters. This kind of targeting is not only offensive, but a racially charged manner of maneuvering the system.
It's discouraging that Jimmy Nguyen has personally resorted to this method now that he has lost the lead.

I was down over 500 votes when the first results were shown, but I never even thought of trying to suppress votes. I ran a fair campaign. My team and I worked hard to win and serve, no schemes necessary to get a win, just honest work and dedication.

I want to thank my team, my family, all of my supporters and the voters for exercising their right. We continue to work and do what we have to do to get this victory so that District 8 has a quality Councilmember to represent them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ash Kalra Wins State Assembly D27

With all the precincts counted,  Ash Kalra has apparently won the state assembly election against Madison Nguyen.  A big sigh of relief could be heard from at least half of the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose.

Nguyen was ahead by 130 votes at the beginning of the night and by the time the rooster crowed, she was behind by more than 2,000 votes.   At this moment, she is behind by 3,897 votes.

Kalra was left for dead after the primary when he came in second but was 15% behind.  Nguyen and her IEs launched  a barrage of negative attacks in the primary.  The voters received half a dozen hit pieces in May alone.  Strangely enough, Kalra did not send a single negative piece in response in kind.

Undeterred with such a large deficit,  he quickly built a coalition with the third, fourth and fifth place finishers of the primary.   An Asian Wall was established with the Indian, Filipino, Chinese and Vietnamese voters.    The whole idea was to slow Nguyen down at the early and absentee voting, while Kalra hoped that Labor Unions would drive the Hispanic vote to carry him to the finish line.   The district registered voter map shows about 1/3 Asian,  1/3 Hispanic and 1/3 White.

 Raising  more than $1 million and having nearly $5 million in IE from outsiders (not in San Jose),  Nguyen was in a catbird's seat.   She outspent Kalra 2 to 1 and had the support of both current and former mayors.   Everybody in her camp thought she would not only win but win big.  Nguyen herself was emotionally upset at her Election Day party at the Xoncion to Community when her lead started to disappear.

Kalra's internal poll showed he was 4%-5% behind going in October.   He knew he had a chance as long as Labor Unions would deliver with their ground game for Sylvia Arenas, Jim Beal and him. LSI poll for Vietnamese voters only indicated he was neck to neck with Nguyen.  He trusted his Vietnamese supporters for he spent a considerable amount of time building relationships with the community.

At the end, to the delight of  his supporters,  Kalra's Asian Wall held and Labor Unions came through.

The voting trends for the last 24 hours are in his favorite.  There are still thousands of ballots to be tallied but it is unlikely that she can catch up.

If there is such a lesson about local politics it shall be that one should never betray one's own supporters and expect to win an election.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Vietnamese Voters in Orange County and Santa Clara County

In Orange County, the first set of result showed the Vietnamese voters with their penchant to vote with absentee ballot gave Andrew Do a nice cushion.  Will this lead holds, only time can tell.  The Hispanic turn out is lower than expected in OC.

County Supervisor 1st District
Completed Precincts: 0 of 209
Vote CountPercentage
* ANDREW DO31,73458.9%

In San Jose, the Vietnamese vote is crucial to Ash Kalra and his race for state assembly against Madison Nguyen.  He is 117 vote behind after the first 52,777 ballots.  There will be another 75,000 to 100,000 ballots to be counted.   The total Viet vote is expected to be about 16,000.

It will be a long week for both Nguyen and Kalra.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Qui Nguyen Wins Word Series of Poker

According to ESPN News -
"Qui Nguyen won the 2016 World Series of Poker main event late Tuesday night, earning $8 million and the diamond-encrusted gold bracelet.
He defeated Gordon Vayo in a heads-up battle that lasted 182 hands and well over seven hours to win the WSOP bracelet in his first time playing the WSOP main event.
Qui Nguyen is the 47th WSOP main event champion and just the second Vietnamese-born winner; the first was Scotty Nguyen, who won the 1998 WSOP main event for $1 million."
Qui Nguyen is a nail technician / owner of nail salon in Orange County, California.  He started playing professionally in 2003 and his career earnings up till now was around $52,400.  Scotty Nguyen is also from California.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Andrew Do and Orange County Register

The  OC Register Editorial Board recently gave a resounding endorsement to Andrew Do for Orange County Supervisor, First District.   See excerpt below:

" The race for First District Orange County Supervisor has narrowed down to two, with incumbent Andrew Do facing off against Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez.
We endorsed Do in the June primary because in the nearly 17 months since winning a special election for the seat, he had taken a role of leadership, helping to craft county policies that prioritize public safety, creating a more open and transparent county government and tackling our region’s homelessness crisis.
A few months later, we have grown to admire Do even more. His commitment to the residents of his district and the county are clear. That is why Andrew Do again has our endorsement for another term as First District supervisor.
During his tenure, Do has advocated for residents on the most important issues. He has pushed the conversation forward on the county’s homelessness crisis, which, according to a report by KPPC, has grown “about 5 percent in the last two years.” Most recently, Do put forward a motion to open the old Santa Ana Transit Terminal as a temporary homeless shelter.
As a former prosecutor, Do knows the important role that law enforcement plays in our community. His championing of public safety issues is likely why he earned the endorsement of Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
“I trust Supervisor Andrew Do on public safety,” Sheriff Hutchens said in a statement. “Over the past year, Supervisor Andrew Do has led the effort to provide the Orange County Sheriff’s Department with more resources to respond to the state’s early release of convicted criminals.”
Do’s upbringing has also taught him the importance of keeping government small and unobtrusive in people’s lives. His family fled communism in Vietnam “with just the clothes on their back and a suitcase full of dictionaries.” As such, Do has held the line on spending and has been a stalwart defender of small businesses and property rights."
The Editorial Board recommends Andrew Do on Nov. 8.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ash Kalra and Janet Nguyen

A few days ago, I was honored to be at the Grand Opening of the Vietnamese-American Community Center in San Jose. For over a year, I have given my full support as a Council Member as my colleagues, Tam Nguyen and Manh Nguyen, have worked diligently to open the community center in order to better serve our Vietnamese-American residents. It was a joyous occasion to see hundreds of community members come out on a rainy day to celebrate an historic event that should have been achieved many years prior. 

Before the Grand Opening event, I had the great privilege of meeting with Senator Janet Nguyen, who flew up for Orange County the same morning. She took the time to fly up for three hours in order to join the celebration and recognize the tremendous work of the community of making the community center a reality. Our conversation was very instructive and helped me to understand why Senator Nguyen is so beloved by the Vietnamese-American community. I left the meeting with more clarity than ever as to why electing my opponent will be a big step backward for the Vietnamese-American community.

First, think about how important it is for elected leaders to be present. Over the years, I have spent literally hundreds of hours to be present for community events. They can be small gatherings at a library to educate residents on how to become citizens or huge Tet Festivals with thousands in attendance. I do this because in order to represent my community well, it is required of me to be present and to honor the sacrifice of thousands of volunteers who spend time throughout our community organizing events to celebrate their culture and make San Jose a wonderful place to live. Senator Nguyen took the time out of her extremely busy schedule to fly up for the opening of the Vietnamese-American Community Center in order to honor members in her community who put in so much time and energy to make it a reality. Over a dozen elected leaders and candidates were there to recognize the joyous occasion. Madison Nguyen was not there. But, that is not unusual. I have gone to dozens of Vietnamese-American just in the last year alone and she is never there. Contrast that with Senator Nguyen who makes an extraordinary effort to be present in celebration and support of her community in Orange County. And, even comes up here to support our Vietnamese-American community in San Jose. Being present and supporting the wonderful causes in our community matters. 

Second, think about how important it is for elected leaders to do the work of making laws. I am proud to say that not only have I been a very active Council Member, I have also served on our Valley Transportation Authority Board (VTA), Caltrain Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management Board (BAAQMD) and Housing Trust of Silicon Valley Board. I was even the Chairman of the Board of VTA and BAAQMD, the first person to ever Chair both organizations in history. During my time in service, I have written legislation and have led these agencies to crack down on predatory payday lenders, stop trains carrying explosive oil from entering our city, added more capacity for affordable housing, and succeeded in having BART come to San Jose ahead of schedule and $75 million under budget. 

Even as it relates to the Vietnamese-American community, I have not shied away from representing the community. I led the Council to create an Office of Immigrant Affairs, including a small business ambassador to specifically serve the Vietnamese-American small business community. I have repeatedly spoken out against human rights abuses, even signing on to and supporting Resolutions against the abuses of the Vietnamese government. I hosted the 40th Black April Memorial Commemoration at City Hall and have sponsored or supported many other Vietnamese-American community events. I fought for Little Saigon freeway signs, even as my opponent tried to slow progress and reignite hostility on the matter. And, I have shown public support for Senator Janet Nguyen's legislative bills regarding nail salons and rice cakes. In fact, I sent an official letter of support of her rice cake bill to the Senate Committee that heard the matter prior to the law being adopted. 

Of course, I have also joined the community when they have raised issues that matter to them. I have been to many of the vigils at city hall over the last half year protesting Formosa, have been there to show support when the community expressed rage over China's incursions into the South China Sea, and have celebrated many artist and authors in the Vietnamese community who have helped share the cause of freedom with the world. In fact, I recorded a radio interview just a few days ago with Congresswoman Lofgren condemning the arrest of blogger Me Nam. Needless to say, I have never seen Madison Nguyen at any of these events or protests to speak up against abuses of the Vietnamese government or to honor those who have been on the frontline of the struggle for freedom. She is also not someone who has written laws or served on meaningful regional Boards and, therefore, lacks the knowledge to effectively represent our city in Sacramento.

This leads to my third, and final, point in this article. As Senator Janet Nguyen does her good work on behalf of the Vietnamese-American community, who will be a better ally in the State Assembly? Senator Nguyen is a Republic leader in the Senate. The person who wins the race for Assembly will be a Democrat in the State Assembly. For those unaware of the poor reputation of Madison Nguyen, they may think it would be a good thing to have a Vietnamese-American representative on the State Assembly side to partner with Senator Nguyen. The truth of the matter is that having Madison Nguyen elected to the State Assembly will be a barrier to the work Senator Nguyen is doing on behalf of the community. It is not easy for Senator Nguyen to pass legislation that focuses on supporting the Vietnamese-American, like the rice cake or nail salon bills. And, certainly, it is difficult for her to pass Resolutions standing up for human rights and condemning the Vietnamese government for its atrocities. It will be much harder for her to pass such legislation or to make important statements standing up for human rights if Madison Nguyen is in the Assembly. Her Democratic colleagues in the State Assembly will look to her to respond to efforts by Senator Nguyen. Since Madison is a Democrat (although I am endorsed by the Democratic Party in our Assembly race), they will defer to her as to how to react to a bill or action from Senator Nguyen. If there is opposition to a Senate Bill from the Assembly, the bill dies and never sees the light of day again. So, it is actually quite dangerous to have Madison as the spokesperson of the Vietnamese-American community in the State Assembly. And, it will definitely not help the good work that Senator Nguyen is doing.

Now, it is true that I am also a Democrat. But, as evidenced by my support from Republican Van Le, I can work with all sides in order to come to compromises. Also, the areas where Senator Nguyen and I may disagree will likely have to do more with traditional disagreements between Republicans and Democrats regarding fiscal priorities. However, I whole-heartedly will work with Senator Nguyen on matters of human rights and representing the Vietnamese-American community with honesty and integrity. I will be a partner with Senator Nguyen and will seek her guidance as to how best represent the community with respect. 

Supporting my candidacy allows San Jose and Orange County to unite as I will work with Senator Nguyen to represent the community well and make sure the Vietnamese-American community has a voice in California like never before. I would be honored to have your support. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Voter Speaks Up about ROV and Recount Debable

September 13, 2016

To: Santa Clara Board of Supervisors
Re:  Serious errors/flaws uncovered during the automatic recount of the San Jose City Council District 4 election

Dear Supervisors,

As a concerned voter of Santa Clara county and on my own behalf, I’ve written many comments about the sloppy operation Registrar of Voters (ROV), especially in the ballot duplication aspect, which raises serious doubts about the outcome of the San Jose City Council District 4 race, an extremely tight race with only 28 votes between the candidates, out of 17,350 votes for the candidates.

It does not matter to me who wins or loses.  It matters to me a great deal that we have an election system whose work and published results we can trust.  Complaints about the ROV have been raised in the past, but it was not until this recount that we have concrete data to substantiate our concerns.

The recount narrowed the winner’s lead from 28 before to 12 after the recount.  The ROV is now trying to say that they need to add in the 60 writein votes, which bring the winner’s lead to 36 votes before the recount.  In that case, the recount corrected the winner’s lead from 36 to 12, a whopping 67% correction. In other words, the original election results certified by the ROV were 67% inaccurate.

There are still many unresolved issues.  A precinctbyprecinct analysis shows over 200 votes are missing between the original count and the automatic recount.  The ROV offers no explanation for these missing votes.  Instead, the ROV try to distort the number of ballots counted during the automatic recount, claiming in its report to the Board that the recount encompassed 20,334 ballots when it only counted 20,079 ballots (as proven by tally sheets and ROV’s own report).  There are 10 illegal votes because 5 people doublevoted.  

Dozens of original ballots and duplicated ballots are missing. The most serious violation is in the ballot duplicating process, which include ballots being duplicated twice giving one candidate unfair lead, staff initialing for one another or not initialing at all, altering and forging of initials, even during the employee’s absence.  About 97% of the 280 challenges logged in during the recount were related to staff initials.

Below, I am providing some examples of the original and duplicated ballots for your review. Of most concerns are the following:

a ballot where the original has different markings in different ink, like someone just quickly connected the arrow for Lan Diep before duplicating the ballot

ballots were duplicated without clear marks or notes as to why they needed be duplicated

ballots where staff initials were altered.  we witnessed (during the recount) an ROV staff member who was very concerned  when she found her initials but not in her handwriting.

For these reasons, we urge the Board of Supervisors to not accept the ROV’s report because it contains wrong information (claiming that the recount counted 20,334 ballots when it only counted 20,079 ballots).  We also urge the Board to nullify the certification of the election results and the outcome of District 4 until after the Board fully investigates ROV’s wrongdoings.  And please keep the recount because it helps make ROV accountable to the county, and the voters.

Thank you for your leadership in ensuring that we have a fair, honest, transparent, efficient and accurate election system.

Sincerely yours,

Quyen Vuong

Friday, August 12, 2016

ROV Needs Overhaul

Recent Letter to County Board of Supervisors by Councilmember Manh Nguyen.

August 10, 2016
Honorable Dave Cortese & 
Members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
70 West Hedding Street, East Wing / 10th floor
San Jose, CA 95110

Re: Errors and Omissions in connection with June 7, 2016 Fourth District
San Jose City Council Election and Recounts

Dear Mr. President and Members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, 

Over the course of the past several weeks -- during the post-election canvass, the automatic recount required by the Board of Supervisors, and the voter-requested recount --and based on detailed personal observation, extensive document review, and personal interviews, it has become clear that numerous critical legal procedures and safeguards designed to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the election have not been followed by the office of Registrar of Voters (See the report below.) We have concluded that these violations are so significant - both in quality and quantity and cast such serious doubt on the outcome of the election, that the intent of the majority of the Fourth District's voters can not be accurately ascertained. Consequently, the Fourth District election was fatally flawed.

In view of the many problems associated with the recent election, especially when placed in context with the well-documented problems over the last several election cycles, we request that Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, conduct an audit the office of the ROV to right the wrong, to correct all misconducts of the ROV's officials and/or employees and above all to ensure that the best interests of Santa Clara county citizens are being served.

Manh Nguyen 
San Jose City Council Member District-4

Comeuppance - Phat Bui Violates FPPC Campaign Law

Garden Grove City Councilman Phat Bui is not a happy camper now a day.   His barrage of negative campaign against Supervisor Andrew Do with the whole purpose of being a spoiler in the recent June primary is now coming back and haunt him.

Karma is against him this year and it always happen in three.

First, he spent more than $200,000 of his own money on a dirty negative campaign to run against a well-liked candidate in the Vietnamese-American community.   He lost in a landslide and in the process was exposed to be a charlatan.  During the campaign, to bolster his image, he falsely claimed to have three college degrees.   In reality, he was a college drop-out.    It turn out, he also lied on his contract bid about him having a college degree.

And he is a member of Orange County Boy Scouts of America Council.

Second, he just got slapped with a fine by the FPPC for violating campaign filing law.  This is ironic for he personally  filed three complaints to the FPPC against Andrew Do for violating campaign law.

What will karma bring next?

Side Note:  His dream of becoming mayor is in doubt this year.  This is a wide open race with the incumbent not running.  Incumbent Mayor Bao Nguyen is stuck in a no-win situation with his unexpected second place finish behind Lou Correa for the congressional race.  Nguyen is  far behind in the poll but he cannot pull out of the race now to run for his mayoral seat.

 It could have been his if he did not mess up his political career with his run against Andrew Do.   

Manh Nguyen Suing Lan Diep?

In a bizarre scenario of a dramatic city council election for San Jose City D4,  the incumbent Manh Nguyen is also suing the Council-elect Lan Diep.    He recently has filed a lawsuit against the ROV.

 Whatever the case may be, Manh Nguyen has lost public support for him as a councilman in the Vietnamese-American community.  

As some voters in D4 have vocally let him know,  he is a sore loser.   And apparently, he is too bitter to understand when to quit.  

 Karma is against him and it always happens in three. 

First, his radio show was shut down due to his political battle against Lan Diep during the campaign.  As far as the owner of the radio station was concerned, he violated FCC rules and they wanted him to make changes to ensure FCC guidelines are followed. Of course, he refused and decided to stick it to the owner by not paying his bills.    

Second, his bitter loss in an election that he should have won by a landslide.   His supporters are scratching their heads with his behavior during the recount and the lawsuit.

What will karma bring next?  

Here is post from Lan Diep's Facebook-

Well. I've been served. Manh Nguyen is suing me - me! - because he wants a court to 1) Set aside my victory (and the will of the voters); 2) Declare him the winner; 3) Award him the costs of his lawsuit, and 4) Give him any other relief deemed appropriate.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Endorsements for Ash Kalra

Press Release from Ash Kalra's Campaign Headquarters

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren Throws Her Support
in for Ash Kalra for Assembly

San Jose, CA — Today, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren declared her support for Ash Kalra in the open seat race for the Assembly in District 27. As the only Congressional member in this district, Zoe’s support holds enormous weight in this contentious race.

" I am proud to endorse Ash Kalra for California State Assembly and I urge you to join me in supporting him. Over the years, when I’ve advocated for Human Rights, Ash was there with me. When we fought for immigration reform, Ash was there. When we fought for housing opportunities so our sons and daughters could live in the communities they grew up in, Ash was a leader.  When it came to improving education, Ash stepped forward.  In short, Ash Kalra has been a stand out leader while serving on the City Council. He is smart, articulate and will be an effective leader in Sacramento. I believe he will represent our community instead of special interests.  In my experience with him, he is honest, committed to the public good and a hard worker. Voters have a rare opportunity to select this outstanding individual to represent them in the California Legislature," said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

The campaign received additional good news as the lone Republican in the June Primary, ESUHSD Trustee Van Le, formally endorsed Ash Kalra, joining two other Primary opponents, Democrats ARUSD Trustee Esau Herrera and community activist Cong T. Do.

“I am so grateful to Congresswoman Lofgren for her support in this race and for the years of leadership she has shown in this district. She is a national leader on pushing comprehensive immigration reform and has led our California Congressional delegation with honor,” commented Ash Kalra, “I am further humbled to receive the support of three of my former opponents. They are all outstanding community leaders and have proven their strong support from the community by garnering over 20,000 votes accounting for over 26% of ballots cast. Their confidence in my ability to represent our city well in Sacramento is a great source of pride as we continue our movement towards Election Day."

Zoe Lofgren has represented San Jose in the United State Congress since 1995. As the Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation and the highest-ranking Democrat and former chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Lofgren is recognized as a leader within the party and a champion for immigrants’ rights in San Jose. She is the only Congressional Member representing Assembly District 27.

In 2008, Ash Kalra was elected to the San Jose City Council. Ash is one of two candidates in the open seat race for California State Assembly that will be vacated by termed-out Assemblyperson Nora Campos. For a full list of organizations and individuals who have endorsed Ash Kalra, please visit

# # #

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why Manh Nguyen Decided to Sue the ROV

After 11 days into the second recount,  Councilmember Manh Nguyen decided that he had enough and filed a lawsuit to overturn the election and have a redo in November.  He is now trailing Lan Diep by 12 votes.

His reason for the lawsuit is  " Voter Disenfranchisement".   According to the lawsuit, there were many procedural errors and omissions made by the Santa Clara County ROV that the voter intent might not be honored.

Here are some of the glaring facts that were observed during the recount.

1.  There was a loss of 255 votes in District 4 from the original machine count to the manual recount (as reported on Thu 7/14/16).  In the original count, the total votes counted by machine was 20,334 (Manh 8661, Lan 8689).  In the automatic recount, the total votes counted by hand was 20,079 (Manh 8669, Lan 8683).  The tally sheets of the recount confirmed that the total ballots counted was 20,079. 

2.  Over 300 ballots were duplicated. The duplicate ballot was made from the original ballot since it could not be read by machine.  

During the recount, the ROV staff chose not to follow their own  ballot duplication procedure.   The staff did not give an explanation why they did not follow their own protocol. 

 ROV staff was supposed to work in teams of 2, where 1 person would read off the original ballot, and the other person would mark the duplicate ballots. They were supposed to cross-check each other’s work, and each is to sign his/her initial on both the original and duplicate ballots.  ROV staff did not cross-check each other’s work, and, in almost 100% of the cases, one person initialed for both on the original, and the other person initialed for both on the duplicate.  In at least one case, the same person signed both initials on both original and duplicate ballots.  In at least one case, there was no initial, simply the stamp and the date.

Since the ROV was careless about generating the duplicate ballots by not following procedure, series of comical errors were bound to happen.  The joke of course is at the voter intent's expense.

 3.   26 duplicated ballots are missing.  ROV refused to use the originals, saying that the missing duplicates are already counted and included with other ballots.   But the main reason, staff forgot to stamp duplicates so they could not be identified. 

4.  34 original ballots were missing and only their duplicates were available.    There was no way to ascertain the validity and accuracy of the duplicates; but the ROV still insisted on relying the duplicates.

5.  On Fri 7/15/16, ROV declared the automatic recount done and issued an official statement with Manh Nguyen trailing Lan Diep by 14 votes. 

A question was brought up to the ROV about why the tally did not add up in precinct 1416.   Matt Moreles, Assistant Registrar, did not know about this irregularity.   

 On Mon 7/18/16, Moreles announced that staff found a stack of 37 votes left in the bin.  They forgot to separate them from the A cards; hence they did not count them.  Before this finding,  Moreles insisted repeadly that these 37 ballots were counted by machine before. 

With the new ballots, Manh Nguyen trailed Lan Diep by 12 votes.

Side note:   Even after these ballots were found and counted, Precinct 1416 still had a loss of 4 ballots.  The entire D4 still lost 218 ballots. 

4.  There were a net loss of votes in 33 out of 43 precincts.   The ROV could not provide any reasons why or examples of how ballots could be missing.   Their standard answer was this is the norm of the recount.   This is tenuous claim at best since the ROV has not done a recount for ages and their inexperience showed again and again with their many mistakes.  

The recount process has exposed many procedural flaws at the ROV.  The voters should also be concerned at the nonchalant attitude of the ROV toward the voter intent.   During this ordeal,  a number of voters have expressed their worry whether their vote matter, especially in a close election.  

The ROV needs to regain the voter's confidence because at the end of the day, the loser in the election is the voters themselves when an office in charge of protecting the integrity of the voter intent is not being held accountable for their actions. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Manh Nguyen To Proceed with Lawsuit?

Rumor is flying that San Jose City Councilmember Manh Nguyen has decided to go forward with a lawsuit to overturn the D4 city council election.   At least this is what he is expected to tell the City Council as his reason to ask them not to certify the election today.

What is the current status of the second recount?  Nguyen is still behind by 12 votes.  He is asking ROV to review all disqualified ballots.  After 10 days of recount at a rate of $2,500 a day, we know that Nguyen has money at his disposal.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Manh Nguyen and His Recount Options

Five days into the voter-initiated recount, incumbent Councilmember Manh Nguyen still trails the challenger Lan Diep by the same tally - 12.

His various challenges on the absentee ballots so far were not successful.   He is most likely to again challenge the duplicate ballots (ballot that was manually duplicated from the damaged original ballot).   And then there are  the provisional ballots that he still want to contest again.   He had challenged them unsuccessfully in the first recount.

If all else fails,  he can opt for a lawsuit to have this election invalid on technical reasons, e.g, missing ballots, disqualified ballots, or other procedural mistakes that the ROV is struggling through.

Nguyen is famous or infamous (depending if you are his foe or friend) for his tenacity.   The only thing that will stop him from a lawsuit if the second recount does not overturn the election  is money. He will not be able to see beyond the fact that the public backlash on such a lawsuit will be so great even if he is successful with the lawsuit to have the election invalid.

Santa Clara County Free COVID-19 Testing Site

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