Legislation To Repeal 'Bubble' Law

Judge Rejects Recent 'Bubble' Lawsuit

Assemblyman Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, said Thursday he will introduce legislation next week to repeal the state law that requires the "bubble" to be filled in on ballots next to the name of write-in candidates.

"We live in a democracy where we should count every vote that is cast," Vargas said outside the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office. "The last thing we want to do is discourage the will of the voters."

Vargas' move comes after the Registrar of Voters tossed out an unknown number of ballots believed to be for write-in mayoral candidate Donna Frye because the oval next to the councilwoman's name was left blank.

"We had over 75 percent of our county's voters go out and vote in this election," Vargas said. "They deserve to have their vote counted and not questioned by minute technicalities."

Frye supporters estimate that as many as 4,000 to 5,000 ballots went uncounted because of the technicality.

A judge recently rejected a lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters of San Diego, asking that all the write-in ballots be counted, including those where voters failed to blacken the bubble.

Retired Tulare County Judge Eric Helgesen said the current state law that requires voters to fill in the bubble next to the write-in candidate's name was a "legitimate regulation on voting."

Vargas said he plans to introduce legislation to repeal that section of the law on Monday, the first day of the legislative session.

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