Four months after the November election, state and Orange County investigators are still looking into charges by former Rep. Robert Dornan that voter fraud sealed his narrow defeat at the polls.
While the inquiry has so far uncovered dozens of potentially illegal ballots, it is unclear whether there are enough to make up for the 984-vote loss by Dornan, a Republican, to Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat.
Much of the attention is being focused on voters registered by Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, a local Hispanic rights group. A survey by The Los Angeles Times showed that the organization helped register 172 noncitizens who later voted in the Dornan-Sanchez contest.
“No one can seriously argue any more that there wasn’t voter fraud in this election,” said Michael Schroeder, Dornan’s lawyer. “It was pervasive.”
The Orange County district attorney has confiscated several boxes of documents from Hermandad’s office in Santa Ana, Calif., as part of its investigation.
Mark Rosen, Hermandad’s lawyer, said the group had not intentionally broken any laws. He said employees believed that noncitizens, many of whom had passed their citizenship tests but had yet to be sworn in, could vote if they were naturalized before Election Day.
In December, Dornan filed a complaint with the House Oversight Committee asking that the election be overturned. Since then, he has submitted a brief with the panel alleging that 1,789 votes cast in the race were either illegal or suspect.
Regardless of what the House of Representatives ultimately decides, Dornan announced last week that he would run as a candidate for his old seat in the next election.
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