County will hear

August 06, 2001

presentation on voter fraud, get building update By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors will be given a presentation on voter file maintenance and voter fraud by the chief investigator for the California Secretary of State's office on Tuesday.

The board also will get an update on the Northend county services building and a briefing on the so-called state uniform retail food facilities law.

The board meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the County Administration Center, 940 W. Main St., El Centro.

The voter fraud issue was brought up by District 3 Supervisor Joe Maruca, who suggested the board form a committee to find ways to stop fraudulent voting because of what he said appeared to be an excessive number of registered voters at the same address and alleged voter registration and absentee ballot irregularities during the last election.


Maruca found numerous irregularities related to voter registration and absentee balloting during the buildup to November's general election. He reported those to the district attorney.

In early July, District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero said the state is still investigating alleged voter irregularities associated with the District 3 supervisorial race, which pitted Maruca against El Centro City Councilman David Dhillon.

The board could choose to establish the voter fraud unit.

The uniform retail food facilities law's intent is reportedly to regulate the services of retail establishments to assure the public's health is protected and that food be served in a safe, sanitary and disease-free manner. The law became effective Jan. 1, 2000.

The law affects all temporary food facilities, nonprofit charity events offering food and barbecues, state fairs, county fairs and other similar events as determined by government. The law includes:

· all potentially hazardous food be kept at certain temperatures

· hygiene standards

· certain equipment

· a minimum number of toilets

· janitorial facilities

· liquid waste facilities

· that potable water be available

· pre-packaged food

· non-pre-packaged food

· hand and utensil washing

· length of operation

A violation of the new law can result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or jail for as long as six months.

Strict enforcement began locally on Jan. 1 of this year.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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