2001 California – Judicial Finding – Compton, CA
A 2001 election in Compton turned into a multi-year legal drama as candidates for city council and mayor traded accusations of fraud. In the election, incumbent Mayor Omar Bradley lost to challenger Eric Perrodin by 281 votes, and Leslie Irving (a Perrodin ally) defeated Melanie Andrews for an open city council seat. Bradley sued, alleging fraud, including allegations that Irving illegally registered non-citizens. Superior Court Judge Judith Chirlin overturned the election, returning Bradley to power based on the fact that the city clerk had improperly placed Perrodin’s name at the top of the ballot rather than select the order randomly. Chirlin also found that Irving had indeed helped non-citizens to register and vote in the election, and removed Irving from office and replaced her with Andrews. On appeal, Chirlin’s ruling was partially overturned. The appellate court acknowledged that Perrodin had benefited from a “primacy effect,” but this was insufficient to overturn the election. The appellate court upheld the removal of Irving from office, but held that Judge Chirlin should have ordered a new election rather than simply replace her with Andrews.