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Voice: Provencio using unethical methods to dismiss Hispanic votes

March 21, 2002

Hispanics have never had it easy when running for public office. They have had to overcome prejudices against them. Now not only do they have to defend themselves against prejudices but they have to defend themselves against an unfair election system.

I always had the impression our election process was above reproof. But now after reading the comments of Dolores Provencio's, county recorder, in the Imperial Valley Press, our election process is comparable to that of a dictatorship; the one who counts the votes determines the winner.

Dolores Provencio announced the vote tally showing Ruben Garcia ahead. But then special interest groups complained, and Provenico, not wanting to lose her social standing, went back and disallowed 547 ballots. It was my understanding every vote counted is considered a legitimate vote.

Once you release the official count, it can only be challenged in court. But Provencio would only take votes away from a Hispanic. She would never disallow votes that were intended for Lloyd Allen and Wally Leimgruber. She likes to put the blame on the voters for failure to sign their forms, leaving out their addresses, etc.


But this is failure on the part of the precinct workers. It is the precinct workers' responsibility to explain the voting process to the voters and to make certain the voters fill out the forms correctly.

Kathleen Harris, Florida secretary of state, during the presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore allowed votes that were mailed by servicemen to be counted even though they were late, had signatures missing, wrong addresses listed on the form and were improperly filled out.

When Dolores Provencio says she is required to re-examine the votes for authenticity, that isn't true. The spirit of the voting process is that everyone should be given the right to vote and only votes that are proven to be fraudulent should be removed.

Dolores Provencio is doing the same to the Hispanics as racist whites did to the southern black. They used technicalities to dismiss the vote of the black man.

Dolores, I hope your friends send you a box of lettuce. Your treachery makes you deserve one.



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