More than five months after the November run-off election, Doreen Farr is now the uncontested winner of the 3rd District supervisor’s seat after Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge William McLafferty shut down Steve Pappas’ case challenging her votes Monday. Farr won by approximately 800 votes out of 35,000 cast.
Throughout the court proceedings, Pappas and his legal team have questioned the validity of votes from UCSB and Isla Vista, and the 18 precincts in question, which totaled approximately 13,000 voters.
Farr’s attorneys had filed a motion last week, asking that she — and the students who had run a registration drive on campus — not be required to take the stand. Pappas had contended that the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, which requires voters to show the correct form of identification when they cast their ballots, had been violated in the election.
McLafferty had originally thrown out Pappas’ supposition that many of the ballots were cast fraudulently in the hands of third parties, after which Pappas’ attorney, Jeff Lake, had turned his focus to voting procedure minutiae, whether cast ballots had been filled out incorrectly or sent out to the same voters multiple times.
Lake had even called to the stand Joe Holland, the county’s registrar of voters, and employees who had worked at polling places in the November election. Last week, an SBCC student testified that her ballot was filled out by someone else, but McLafferty said he did not feel those actions were fraudulent. Pappas has not said whether he will file an appeal.