Peace through victory - the American way.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Night of the Living Dims: Rule of Law Vindicated; Politics Keeps Rolling Along.

Ruling immediately after hearing oral argument the judge in the San Diego mayoral election lawsuit rejected the challenges filed by supporters of losing candidate Donna Frye. This blog predicted the result from the beginning. State law is very clear that a vote only occurs when a voter makes a mark in the oval provided for the candidate or write-in line. The state constitution also makes it clear that a voter has a right to have his or her vote counted so long as that vote is cast in accordance with state law. (See prior posts here and here.) Those Frye supporters who failed to mark the oval failed to vote and their rights weren't violated by not having their non-votes counted.

From the beginning these lawsuits had no chance of victory. Yet the attorneys vow to appeal the decision and keep this controversy alive. Frye has done nothing to put an end to this controversy and help the city move forward. In the linked article she puts more fuel on the fire with this answer to whether she would now concede the election: "Concede what? He's the mayor. Everybody knows [that more people] voted for me than for the other candidates."

In point of fact, more people did not vote for Frye than the other candidates. The two other candidates combined received over 60 percent of the vote. Frye's share of the vote was somewhere around 33-35 percent. Thus, her statement that more people voted for her than the other candidates is false.

If she meant that she got more votes than each of the other candidates then her point is even worse. Under the law, she did not get more votes than either of the other candidates. She got more than Ron Roberts but fewer than Dick Murphy. Her statement reflects her apparent belief that the people who wrote in her name but who did not properly vote actually cast votes for her. Her persistence in making statements along these lines demonstrates an unwillingness on her part to recognize the legitimacy of the laws that govern our elections.

Under the law, Frye lost the election.

The only way Frye could have been declared the winner of the election would have been if the registrar of voters and the courts had disregarded the law. Perhaps that's what Frye believes should have been done. Her insistence on claiming that she got more votes suggests that's exactly what she believes.

Frye ought to concede the election and admit that she got fewer votes than the other candidates in order to demonstrate that she accepts the rule of law. It's doubtful that she will.

As this blog has argued before the political strategy in play now is to keep the election controversy alive in order to undermine Murphy's political legitimacy as the mayor and set the stage for Frye's supporters to organize a recall election. (See prior post here.)

Don't expect this issue to go away any time soon.




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