Since the start of the Vote-by-Mail period (on approximately April 17, 2017), our campaign has heard from numerous constituents that campaign workers have appeared at the doors of voters registered to vote-by-mail and these workers are asking to pick up their ballots. These workers claim to be “from the state”.
In response to an inquiry in this regard on April 20, 2017, Phil Rivera, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, stated that NO county, city or state employees are authorized to collect ballots from voters. Furthermore, Rivera said, “misrepresenting yourself as a county official would be a form of voter fraud.”
Despite our campaign’s efforts to warn the community, this unlawful behavior has continued. For example, on Thursday, May 11, 2017, voter Jeremie Resendez reported that a person presented himself at the door and asked him for his Vote-by-Mail ballot. This practice raises crucial questions:
- Who is collecting the ballots?
- Where are the collected ballots?
- Who is responsible for the safe-keeping of the ballots?
- Who is responsible to the voter to ensure that the ballot is officially counted?
- Have any of the ballots improperly collected from voters who have indicated they support Joe Bray-Ali been destroyed, misappropriated or otherwise?
At least two formal reports have been filed with the County Registrar-Recorder. The Registrar-Recorder and the Los Angeles City Clerk must immediately respond to these specific cases to ensure that all ballots are appropriately collected and counted. Without such assurance, CD 1 voters may have proper grounds to believe that the May 16th election was stolen from them.
Many voters are recalling the Cedillo campaign’s yard sign-stealing capers before the March 6, 2017 primary election as a possible precursor to the “harvesting” of vote-by-mail ballots ( http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/03/06/1st-district-los-angeles-city-councilman-accused-of-stealing-political-rivals-campaign-signs/0 ).
Contact details for those who've made a statement available to members of the press upon request - Rohnda Ammouri, Communications Director, Joe Bray-Ali for City Council – 310-448-3476 or email@example.com
Paula Briseno, Cypress Park
On April 20, 2017, a campaign worker supporting Councilman Cedillo, Marco Rodriguez, appeared at the home of Paula Briseno and stated that he worked for the state and was there to collect her vote-by-mail ballot.
“I asked why,” said Briseno, a Cypress Park resident who has a Bray-Ali sign in her front yard. “He said it was a new law and I didn’t have to mail this year.”
Briseno submitted complaints to the Registrar-Recorder and the Secretary of State’s office. Her HAVA complaint states that she saw leaflets of Bray-Ali’s opponent, incumbent Councilman Gil Cedillo, in the man’s pocket. Rodriguez is an employee of GroundWorks Campaigns, Inc., which is funded as an independent expenditure in support of the Cedillo campaign.
Guadalupe Baca, Cypress Park
On April 20, 2017, a campaign worker supporting Councilman Cedillo, Marco Rodriguez, appeared at the home of Guadalupe Baca and stated that he worked for the state and was there to collect her vote-by-mail ballot.
Stated that on April 24, 2017 – “A lady just stopped by my house to pick up my vote-by-mail ballot. I told her what she is doing is illegal and she read a statement to me that anyone can give permission to her to retrieve their ballots.”
Matt Ima, Highland Park, via Next Door website on April 21, 2017
“I looked into this because they also came to our house yesterday and asked my wife for my vote-by-mail ballot -- I was out of town. The canvasser's name is Sharon. The other woman who split the canvassing neighborhood was Katarina (I think?). They were very nice. Their coordinator is Lisa. The leader of their organization is Tracy Zeluff. I spoke with Lisa and Tracy on the phone last night. Below is a link to the GroundWorks Campaign website where you can see that Tracy Zeluff is in fact a leader of this organization. http://groundworkscampaigns.com.”
Additional reports mirroring the above from:
Vicki Kassa, Highland Park
Sara Limon, Highland Park
Jeremie Resendez, Montecito Heights
Teresa Hernandez de Gonzalez, Pico Union
Stated that a man came to her door to collect her vote-by-mail ballot. The man stated that he worked for the state and was there to collect her vote-by-mail ballot. He showed her his badge along with other ballots that he had collected from her neighbors in the 5-unit complex. Gonzalez refused to give him her ballot. Later that evening she received a call from a woman claiming to be from the city. The woman told Gonzalez that it was not illegal to give permission to the city to retrieve their ballots. Approximately three days later, the same man came by to collect her vote-by-mail ballot.