Judge rules SLO County must stop processing certain ballots, for now, attorney says

Posted at 11:39 AM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 14:39:59-04

A judge Monday issued a temporary restraining order against the County of San Luis Obispo to stop the counting of certain ballots that could potential affect the outcome of a highly-contentious race, according to attorneys for 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton.

Monday’s decision comes after Compton accused Tommy Gong, who is the Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, to be in blatant violation of the law, which the attorneys say prohibits his office from processing signature-corrected ballots received after eight days following the election. That cut-off, according to paperwork filed by Compton’s attorneys last week, was at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13. 

As of Friday, there were only 62 votes separating Compton, the incumbent, and challenger Jimmy Paulding. 

Jimmy Paulding (L) and Lynn Compton (R)

Gong has said that the provision affecting ballots without a signature does not apply to ballots with mismatched signatures.

Paulding has called Compton’s attempts to halt the processing of the ballots with mismatched signatures an "intimidation tactic."

Attorney Charles H. Bell, Jr. says another hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. 

Bell says they will know at that time whether the County received any additional information after June 13 from voters whose ballots were said to be in question.

The judge can then make a final ruling.

Lynn Compton files paperwork to stop SLO County from counting certain ballots