Federal judge refuses to halt San Diego mayoral vote count
November 16, 2004
SAN DIEGO – A federal judge on Tuesday refused to halt the vote count in the race for mayor, handing the second defeat in as many days to opponents of a maverick city councilwoman’s write-in bid.
The suit filed on behalf of three voters said that Donna Frye’s write-in candidacy violated the city charter, which requires that the general election be a runoff of the top two vote-getters in the primary. Frye skipped the March primary and launched her write-in bid five weeks before the Nov. 2 election.
U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have stopped the vote count and scheduled a Nov. 30 hearing to consider the merits of the case, said Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for the Frye campaign.
On Monday, a judge in San Diego Superior Court also refused to halt the vote count and said any objections to Frye’s candidacy should have been raised before ballots were cast.
As of Tuesday, Frye and Mayor Dick Murphy were locked in a tight race. All write-ins had 154,425 votes, or 34.6 percent, ahead of Murphy, who had 153,469 votes, or 34.4 percent. So far, 150,222 write-in votes have been verified for Frye.
There were still about 35,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted.