Prosecutors are investigating allegations of voter fraud in Little Armenia, part of a Los Angeles City Council district where two candidates are waging a bitter battle for an open seat. According to a spokeswoman for L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, prosecutors are trying to determine whether backers of one candidate illegally filled out mail-in ballots for dozens of voters in the Armenian enclave in East Hollywood. The May 21 election will decide who succeeds Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor. In a complaint sent to Lacey’s office, an attorney for candidate John Choi accused backers of Choi’s opponent, Mitch O’Farrell, of “widespread voter fraud and illegal electioneering activities.”
The complaint alleges that O’Farrell campaign workers filled out voters’ ballots for their candidate while telling them they were voting for Sam Kbushyan, a candidate of Armenian descent who ran and lost during the primary election.
Kbushyan and many of his former campaign volunteers are now working on behalf of O’Farrell.
The O’Farrell campaign rebuts the allegations, saying it was Choi workers who filled out and took ballots from voters. “These are Choi people who are doing this,” O’Farrell spokeswoman Renee Nahum said.
Nahum said the campaign plans to file its own complaint with the district attorney that will include testimony from voters who said they gave their ballots to Choi campaign workers who claimed that they were representing Kbushyan.