Election decided by one vote

Often students challenge me for examples of when a single vote matters.  Here is one, in the story , “Tran loses Rosemead election by one vote.”

Voters who needed a reminder that every vote counts got one today – former mayor John Tran lost his city council seat by only one vote in the March 3 municipal election.

The results of a legal challenge by Tran over dozens of disqualified ballots resulted in four additional votes going to Tran Friday, narrowing the lead of councilwoman Sandra Armenta to one vote.

Tran originally lost the March election by five votes. After he lost, he filed a lawsuit contesting its results and alleging the votes of minorities were illegally disqualified.

The city disqualified 112 ballots because they had signatures that did not match their voter registration forms, were not from registered voters, or the voters didn’t live in the city or didn’t sign their ballots, according to City Clerk Gloria Molleda.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant scrutinized 28 ballots believed by the plaintiffs to be most relevant, and concluded that four should to be counted. A fifth ballot was also considered by the judge, but later ruled against opening it, Armenta said.

Chalfant opened the four ballots Friday and all four went to Tran.