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Young Kim’s Lead Quickly Vanishing

Gil Cisneros Proves Heavy Favorite with late Voters

By Sean Brown, November 15, 2018 6:35 am

In what has become one of the least talked about, but most contentious House races in California, Republican Young Kim is hanging on to a narrow lead over Democrat Gil Cisneros as the state’s 39th Congressional District remains to be called.

Young Kim, the South Korean immigrant who worked for and is trying to fill the void of retiring Representative Ed Royce, has seen her lead quickly vanish over the last week as late ballots continue to favor Cisneros.

Following Election Day, the California Globe noted how Kim was on track to becoming the first Korean-American woman ever elected to the U.S. House of representatives as she led Cisneros by nearly 4,000 votes. Then, the candidate saw her lead cut in half on Monday and again on Tuesday. Now, in the latest vote count, Kim is leading by just 122 votes.

Last Sunday, the Kim campaign accused the Cisneros campaign of being “rebuked” by the Los Angeles Registrar and County Clerk’s office after alleging that instances of ballot tampering had been taking place.

Her campaign put out a statement Monday saying “The Gil Cisneros Campaign has been desperate to influence and alter the outcome of this race by harassing and intimidating vote counters in Orange County,” before adding “Those nefarious actions reflect a campaign…that will do anything in their desperate effort to change the results.”

In Congressional District 45 Republican Mimi Walters is experiencing a similar phenomenon that can best be described as older, more conservative voters having a tendency to vote earlier while younger, left-leaning voters usually cast their ballots closer to Election Day. Furthermore, in California, any ballots received after November 6th are viable so long as they were postmarked by midnight on the same day.

According to Business Insider, “on Tuesday, the Cisneros campaign accused the Kim campaign of “blatantly lying” in their allegations of ballot tampering, and further alleged that a representative for the Kim campaign had, in fact, been asked to leave the premises of the LA County Registrar’s Office for photographing and attempting to tamper with ballots.” The LA County Registrar denied the Kim campaign’s allegations of ballot interference.

After contacting the LA County Registrar, we have not yet been told how many votes are still estimated to be counted, however, we can confirm the more counting remains to be done. So far, 198,880 votes have been tallied.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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