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. 


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