Greg Hodge signature challenge (2008)

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Greg Hodge, a June 2, 2008 candidate for Oakland City Council in Alameda County, California, was ordered onto the ballot by California Superior Court judge Frank Roesch on Monday, March 24, 2008.

Hodge was initially certified to be on the ballot on March 12 after a review of his petition by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office. A day later, Oakland housing activist James Vann of the Oakland Tenants Union and Oakland environmental and land use attorney Stuart Flashman visited the City Clerk’s office in order to challenge signatures on Hodge’s nominating petition. Once the challenge was lodged, Assistant City Clerk Marjo Keller reversed the certification and ruled that Hodge was one signature short. According to a local news report, "Keller says that she found no problem with the signatures that Vann and Flashman challenged but during a re-review of the petition discovered another signature that contained a 'discrepancy'."

The contested signature was of a West Oakland resident and voter. The house the man lives in has two addresses which he often uses interchangeably. State election law requires that the address on nominating petitions be the same as the address on the voter’s registration application; because the man used one address for the registration application and the second address for Hodge’s nominating petition, the City Clerk ruled his signature invalid, dropping Hodge to one below the required 50.

Arguments made by Hodge's attorney

Hodge’s attorney, Welch, argued to Judge Roesch that once Hodge’s petition was originally certified, the only recourse for a challenge by Vann and Flashman was for them to go to court, rather than to the city clerk. Welch said that Hodge’s rights were violated because the post-certification review was done outside of his presence.

External links

Additional information about ballot litigation in 2008