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County Review Shows 367 Signatures Of Dead People In Failed Petition to Recall Gascón

Saying they found evidence that dead people were among the petition signers in the most recent effort to recall District Attorney George Gascón, and in support of a state ballot initiative, Los Angeles County election officials requested that the state Attorney General's Office review alleged irregularities in the collection of petition signatures.

"Based on our review of two recent petitions... my office has identified irregularities that suggest the possibility of fraudulent signature submission that I believe may warrant investigation," said Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan in a statement.

According to his office, a review of the petitions submitted in last year's attempted Gascón recall found that 367 of the submitted signatures came from people who had died before the signature-gathering period even began.

Last year's Gascón recall effort ultimately failed, with the county determining that organizers had submitted only 520,050 valid petition signatures, short of the 566,857 required.

The other case, a petition in support of a state ballot initiative aimed at limiting the taxation ability of state and local governments, 344 signatures came from those who were dead before the petitioning process had begun, according to alleged findings from the county.

According to Logan's office, election officials found "commonality in the circulators between the two petitions.''  

"The integrity of these processes is fundamental to our representative form of government and influences the confidence and participation of our electorate,'' Logan said. "Attempts to compromise the integrity of this process ought to be scrutinized.''

Organizers of the recall had submitted a total of 715,833 petition signatures to the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office in an effort to force Gascón into a recall election. County officials initially conducted a random sampling of the signatures to verify their validity. Based on that initial sampling, the county undertook an effort to verify all 715,833 signatures individually.

The county later announced that 195,783 of the signatures were invalid. In many cases, the person signing the petition was not a registered voter, and there were also more than 45,000 duplicate signatures, according to the county.

Recall organizers filed a legal challenge to the decision, but the case remains pending and unlikely to change the outcome of the petition drive prior to next year's regular election cycle.

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