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Showing posts from 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.  

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.


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.

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 …

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 ballo…

Phan Ngo Becomes Sunnyvale Police Chief

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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:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/21/veteran-san-jose-commander-selected-as-new-sunnyvale-chief/

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 c…

Christmas Toys Giving

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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!

Holiday Open House at Orange County

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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

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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.

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.

Andrew Do Ahead in OC Supervisor D1 Race

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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…

Sylvia Arenas Ahead by 87 Votes After Final Tally

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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 electi…

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.

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…

Ash Kalra Wins State Assembly D27

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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 absen…

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 DistrictCompleted Precincts: 0 of 209Vote CountPercentage* ANDREW DO31,73458.9%MICHELE MARTINEZ22,15041.1%



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.

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.


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 h…

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 ev…

Rock the Vote

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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…

Why Manh Nguyen Is Taking on ROV?

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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 a…

Comeuppance - Phat Bui Violates FPPC Campaign Law

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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…

Manh Nguyen Suing Lan Diep?

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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 behav…

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…

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 …

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.

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…