Mayor Ann Marshall and councilmember Joe Sampson failed to submit the required number of voter signatures to the Los Angeles County Registrar and will run as write-in candidates in the April election.
In Los Angeles County, a candidate must collect a minimum of 20 registered voter signatures to qualify for a municipal election. The election office verifies that the voter’s information – signature, physical address — matches what the county has on file for the individual.
In Sampson’s case, he attributed his failure to get the requisite signatures to complacency.
“I didn’t pay attention to exactly what people were writing down,” said Sampson. “I take full responsibility.” Sampson submitted 30 signatures. He added, “I’m not at all discouraged about running as a write-in candidate.”
This will be Sampson’s fifth election. He said this is the first time he has failed to get his signatures and his candidacy verified.
Marshall’s said she submitted 28 signatures but 11 were rejected due to incorrect information. Shortly after submitting the signatures, she went on vacation. “When I got back, I didn’t have time to fix the problem,” she said. Marshal also said it seems Los Angeles County is cracking down on discrepancies. “I didn’t have this problem last time I ran,” said Marshal.
Mike Sanchez, media contact for the Los Angeles County Registrar, confirmed the substance of both Sampson and Marshall’s explanations. In an email, Sanchez wrote that too many of Sampson’s signatures were missing address information for him to qualify. In Marshall’s case, the mayor had too many name and address discrepancies for verification. Sampson and Marshall can formally begin their write-in campaigns on Feb. 13 when they pull paperwork and start canvassing for signatures. They must submit the signatures by March 27. Jennifer Monroe, administrative assistant for the city, said ballots containing write-in candidates will be counted by hand (regular ballots are tabulated by machines). She said having the write-in ballots should not affect the city’s ability to announce results that same day.