Harris maintains lead in Calif. AG race

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 17, 2010, 12:45pm


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) -- Democrat Kamala Harris retained a 30,000-vote lead over her Republican opponent Steve Cooley on Tuesday in the race to be California's next attorney general.

According to The Associated Press, that's a lead of four-tenths of a percentage point, with 9 million votes counted.

Fewer than 800,000 ballots have yet to be counted, according to the AP.

But most of the scrutiny is being placed on Los Angeles County, which has 93,000 ballots still to be counted, the AP said.

Earlier this week, Harris' chief strategist accused Cooley's campaign of attempting to disqualify "as many provisional ballots as possible" in the county.

In a statement released by the Democrat's campaign on Sunday, Ace Smith contends Cooley's campaign -- having fallen behind in the statewide count as of last Friday -- were seen "crowding" the computer terminals of Los Angeles election workers and "aggressively attempting to have ballots disqualified."

Cooley's campaign also fired off a letter to the L.A. County Registrar, objecting to its procedures for counting provisional ballots and requested a second review of signatures on provisional ballots.

But spokesmen for both candidates told the AP that procedures have improved as the week has gone on.

According to state law, the vote counting must be complete by Nov. 30 and all counts must be submitted to the Secretary of State's Office by Dec. 3.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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