Voters want tossed ballots counted in close Chula Vista council race

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Steve Padilla and John McCann’s council race may now be decided by “uncounted” votes

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SAN DIEGO -- In the closest race in Chula Vista’s history, three votes separate John McCann from Steve Padilla for a seat on the Chula Vista City Council.

The recount has been dragging on for days and each potential vote is argued by representatives from both campaigns.

The man deciding which ballots will count is Michael Vu of the county's Registrar of Voters.

”It is a difficult process and I wish they could all count, but we need finality,” Vu said.

Voters who have had their ballots tossed out are frustrated to learn their votes will not play a role in this process and felt it necessary to plead their case to the registrar in person.

“I showed up, I voted on time, I have my receipt, I have this stub signed by the poll worker…this ballot should count,” Kara Peter said.

Peter and her husband have two votes that could bring this election even closer, but because they wrote down their P.O. Box address, their ballots won’t count.

“This is wrong on every level," Peter said. "I tried to vote, I voted and now they're telling me my vote will count in the next election but not this one."

“The woman is...who she says she is, the ballot is clear and there is no reason she shouldn’t have her vote counted," said election attorney William Moore.

“What message are we sending to voters when we can just throw away their votes on a typo or a technicality?" Moore said. "This is not following the letter of the law or the spirit of the law and it’s wrong."

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