Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 5:24 am | Fair 43º

 
 
 
 

Holland Testifies at Farr-Pappas Hearing

The 3rd District election dispute dives into voter registration forms but the trial is continued to next week.

After nearly seven hours of testimony from just two witnesses Tuesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, the hearing between 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr and Steve Pappas has been continued until next week.

Pappas lost November’s run-off election to Farr by about 800 votes, and is questioning the validity of many votes from UCSB and Isla Vista. The 18 precincts in question total approximately 13,000 voters, according to Tuesday’s testimony.

Attorneys for both parties made an appearance Tuesday in Judge William McLafferty’s courtroom, and Pappas’ attorney, Jeff Lake, spent most of the day questioning witnesses about voting procedure. Because McLafferty, at an earlier hearing, had thrown out Pappas’ argument that many ballots were subject to fraud in the hands of third parties, Lake focused mostly on the voter registration forms. Pappas and Lake contend they may have been filled out incorrectly or sent to the same voter twice.

Joe Holland, the county’s registrar of voters, was the first witness to take the stand, and deferred to his staff on many of Lake’s more technical questions. Holland was clear when Lake questioned him about the possibility of fraud, however.

“If there’s voter fraud, we take that very seriously,” said Holland, adding that he had not seen any evidence of illegal activity taking place. At any rate, enforcement would “absolutely” be pursued and turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, he said. Holland also said that if an absentee ballot gets sent out before a person registers again, the system will pick that up and cancel out one of the votes. If important information is missing from the registration, the elections office will try reaching the voter for clarification. Out of California’s 58 counties, Holland said, Santa Barbara County has some of the more stringent voting guidelines.

Lake called into question everything from the training of Holland’s employees to which fields are required on the voter registration forms.

The day’s second witness was Christine Bischoff, who was in charge of overseeing polling places in the November election. She also deferred to fellow employees on several questions, but confirmed a laundry list of items from a subpoena issued to the County Registrar’s Office in January.

The hearing will be continued at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.