Councilwoman Donna Frye is only 147 votes ahead of incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy in San Diego's mayoral race, according to tallies released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office today.
Frye, a write-in candidate in the race for mayor, had 156,158 votes, or 34.51 percent of the vote, county officials said. However, only 152,155 of the write-in votes have been certified for Frye so far, officials said.
Murphy had 156,011 votes, or 34.48 percent, while county Supervisor Ron Roberts had 140,338 votes, or 31.01 percent, county officials said.
The hotly contested city attorney's race also remained too close to call today, county officials said.
Michael Aguirre remained ahead with 204,304 votes, or 50.38 percent to Leslie Devaney's 201,218 votes, or 49.62 percent, county officials said.
League Of Voters Files 'Bubble' Lawsuit
The League of Women Voters is asking a judge to stop the Registrar of Voters from rejecting some votes cast in the mayoral election for certified write-in candidates, making it the third lawsuit filed within a week surrounding the race.
The suit filed in San Diego Superior Court Wednesday by the League of Women Voters asks for "immediate" relief to stop Registrar of Voters Sally McPherson from discounting write-in ballots on which voters failed to blacken a blank oval next to a candidate's name.
Voters were required Nov. 2 to use a black pen to fill-in a blank oval located on the left side of the name of their preferred candidate.
In the case of Murphy and Roberts, whose names were printed on the ballot, the filled oval served to show a voter's support for one of the two. Evidently, many voters thought that if they wrote in a name, there would be no need to fill-in the oval next to it.
San Diego voters Jill Van Cleve and Bruce Reznik joined the League of Women Voters in the lawsuit.
"Nowhere does city law require a voter to fill in the bubble next to the write-in candidates name in order for the whole vote to be counted," the lawsuit states.
If the League of Women Voters' lawsuit is successful, election workers would have to take another look at more than 500,000 ballots and search for write-ins with blank ovals.
Although Frye is not involved in the lawsuit, letters released Wednesday show that her campaign urged McPherson to count write-in votes, even if the ovals were not darkened. McPherson refused the request, backed by the legal opinion of county counsel.
Retired Judge Charles E. Jones will hear arguments at 2 p.m. Monday.
On Monday, a lawsuit seeking to halt the vote count was rejected by Jones, who said that it should have been filed before the election,
Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez set a Nov. 30 hearing in anticipation of ruling on a federal lawsuit to keep the election results from being certified.
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