Medical pot measure loses in Berkeley recount

January 11, 2005

Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle

 

A medical marijuana initiative defeated in Berkeley last November lost again in a recount, Alameda County election officials said Tuesday.

Measure R, which would have permitted medical marijuana clubs in retail areas without public hearings and removed limits on the amount of pot patients could possess, lost in November by only 191 votes, 25,167 to 24,976.

The recount, completed Friday, showed the measure lost by 166 votes, 25, 249 to 25,083, said Assistant Registrar of Voters Elaine Ginnold.

The $27,695 recount was sought and funded by the Alliance for Berkeley Patients.

An attorney for the group, Gregory Luke, challenged the recount Tuesday saying it failed to provide voter access to all the records of the voters as required by California law.

Luke represents Measure R advocates in a lawsuit filed against the registrar over the handling of touch-screen electronic voting in the recount.

Luke said the recount must download results directly from the voting machines and divulge audit logs and chain-of-custody records for the electronic data as it moved from the voting machines to memory cards to a central tabulating machine and result-printouts.

The registrar's office 'did not consider them (such documents and data) relevant for the record,' Ginnold said.

Fifty-three percent of the Berkeley vote was cast on electronic voting machines, she said.



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