By Alberto Garcia
Republican US Congressman Darrell Issa is asking for contributions to raise money after the election because he claims “liberals are trying to steal the election”, even as votes are still being counted.
The outcome of Issa’s reelection campaign is still unclear because the number of outstanding ballots to be counted could flip the results of the race. As of Wednesday, Issa led his opponent, retired Marine Colonel Doug Applegate by only 4,622 votes.
Issa’s congressional district spans San Diego and Orange Counties, and, between them, there are over 60,000 votes to be counted. The District is about 75 percent in San Diego and 25 percent in Orange County.
Applegate leads Issa by 10,205 votes in the San Diego County portion of the district, while Issa maintains a lead of 14,827 in the Orange County portion.
“I won, but now the liberals are trying to steal the election” Issa writes in his fundraising letter.
Issa’s fundraising appeal blames House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for spreading “lies” about him that resulted in such a close race, and Issa further made the unfounded allegation that “Democrats will attempt to force the Registrars to allow thousands of illegal, unregistered voters to influence the election.”
Issa’s claims are similar to those made by Donald Trump in the closing days of the election when Trump charged that the election was “rigged”.
Each Registrar is still counting ballots, but no one
has alleged that outside forces are interferring in the process. As of Wednesday, there were still over 720,000 votes to be counted between the two countries.
Of the thousands of uncounted votes in the race,
it is estimated that over 13,000 are provisional ballots. Provisional ballots can include voters that showed up
to the wrong polling location, their names didn’t appear at the polling place, or experienced other problems on Election Day.
Voters with such issues cast “provisional” ballots that must be individually verified at the Registrar of Voters. Teams of two individuals open and review the voter information. If the voter if found to be eligible, the vote is counted; if not, the vote is disregarded.
Darrell Issa is the richest member of Congress with
an estimated net worth of over $350 million. His latest campaign filing showed a cash balance of $1,781,739,
yet his fundraising letter expressed a sense of urgency for financial support.
“I need you to make an urgent contribution to my re-count fund so that this election isn’t stolen from us,” Issa’s message reads. “I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t need your help today, but I do. I urgently need your contribution of $35, $55, $85, $125 or even $525 today.
Although the outcome of the election is uncertain, Applegate attended freshman orientation meetings in Washington, D.C., this week for newly elected congress members and candidates in races that are still undecided. The orientation process will continue this week.
Applegate may not know his fate until early December. The Registrars of Voters have 30 days from the election to certify their results, meaning neither Issa nor Applegate can claim certain victory until December 7.