Judge Orders SLO Clerk to Stop Counting Ballots

A superior court judge has ordered San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong to stop counting ballots in the election for District 4 supervisor. Judge Barry LaBarbera granted Supervisor Lynn Compton’s request for a temporary restraining order on Monday, pending a final decision on the status of the problem ballots.

Here’s what happened:

Shortly after the June 5 election, Gong discovered hundreds of ballots either lacking signatures or with signatures that didn’t match those on file. Rather than throwing them out, he sent notices to the voters, giving them until June 13 to fix the problem.

On June 12, Gong extended the deadline once more. That prompted a lawsuit from Compton, who claimed Gong was violating equal protection laws.

The saga isn’t over. Judge LaBarbera is expected to make a final decision on the ballots by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

As of Friday, there were just 62 votes standing between Compton and her challenger Jimmy Paulding.