Washington Times
-- 12/11/97 --
Ruth Larson

California secretary of state finds 2,474 questionable votes in election

By Ruth Larson

Nearly 2,500 people of questionable eligibility voted in the election in which Democrat Loretta Sanchez defeated former Rep. Robert K. Dornan last year, the California secretary of state said yesterday. Mr. Dornan lost by fewer than 1,000 votes.

After a year of comparing California voter lists with immigration service citizenship lists, the House Oversight Committee had winnowed its list of potential non-citizens down to 4,761 names and referred them to the office of Secretary of State Bill Jones.

California investigators found that while 4,400 of them were registered to vote, just 52 percent of them -- 2,474 -- voted in the Nov. 5 election. But Mr. Jones stopped short of saying that all 2,474 names represented ineligible voters.

"Should Congress have valid information that the individuals on this list are not eligible voters, I urge them to forward that information to me so I may appropriately remove the names from the active voter rolls," Mr. Jones said in a statement.

The list of voter names has been sent back to the House panel, which is investigating whether noncitizens improperly voted in last year's race to represent California's 46th Congressional District.

Mrs. Sanchez defeated Mr. Dornan, a conservative Republican, by 984 votes.

Last week, an Orange County grand jury declined to issue indictments of officials at Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, a Latino rights group suspected of illegally registering hundreds to vote before they became citizens.

That prompted Democrats to again demand an end to the lengthy voter-fraud investigation. They say Republicans are engaging in a partisan witch hunt, needlessly hounding Mrs. Sanchez.

Copyright © 1997 News World Communications, Inc.

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