Updated below with response from the Cooley campaign at 7:23 p.m.
Kamala Harris' chief strategist is accusing Steve Cooley's campaign of intimidating election workers in Norwalk in an effort to disqualify provisional ballots.
Harris holds a narrow 14,000 vote lead in the race for attorney general. About 150,000 ballots remain to be counted in Los Angeles County, and they are likely to tilt in Harris' favor.
The Harris campaign alleges that Cooley's monitors were “aggressively
attempting to have ballots disqualified” on Friday by crowding election
workers' computer terminals.
“We call on the Cooley campaign to immediately cease any tactics designed to disenfranchise voters,” said Ace Smith, Harris' top strategist, in a statement.
The Cooley campaign sent a letter to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder objecting to the procedure for counting provisional ballots.
Update at 7:23 p.m.: In a statement Sunday evening, Cooley consultant Kevin Spillane alleged there are “serious concerns with the signature verification process and the verification of provisional ballots by county staff. These issues go to the heart of preventing voter fraud and ensuring the integrity of the ballot counting.”
Spillane also alleged that county staff has held private meetings with Harris volunteers, and that Cooley's staffers were not invited to participate until they made a stink about it. The Cooley campaign, he said, has repeatedly expressed concern to the Registar-Recorder about the counting procedure and “the conduct of some individuals.”
He rejected, however, the Harris campaign's allegation that Cooley staffers had been intimidating election workers.
“The Cooley campaign calls on the Harris campaign to join us in working to ensure that the final outcome is beyond question or controversy,” Spillane said. “Unfortunately, Ace Smith's statement is typical campaign hyperbole and not supported by the facts.”
Cooley's side had earlier said it was mobilizing volunteers and
attorneys to prevent the Harris campaign from disenfranchising voters.
Several hundred thousand ballots remain to be counted statewide, and the race may not be settled for a couple more weeks.