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KPBS Story On Common Sense Party Signature Gathering Leads To Calls For Investigation

Voter registration forms marked with Common Sense under political party prefe...

Photo by Claire Trageser

Above: Voter registration forms marked with Common Sense under political party preference, Jan. 31, 2020.

The KPBS report on signature gathering for the Common Sense Party has gotten the attention of a powerful state legislator.

State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, has written a letter to the San Diego District Attorney's Office asking for an investigation into reports that signature gatherers fooled people into joining the Common Sense Party.

The story found that at least 30 people listed as Common Sense Party members had never heard of the party and had no idea they were registering as party members. Gonzalez's letter asks District Attorney Summer Stephan to find out whether that activity violates California's election code.

RELATED: Signature Gatherers Duped San Diegans Into Signing Up For New Political Party

A spokesman for Stephan said the office had not received the letter yet and couldn't comment on whether there would be an investigation or what the next steps would be.

Julie Meier Wright, one of the organizers of the Common Sense Party, said party leaders are already working to look into what happened.

"We are fully prepared to support any kind of investigation," she said. "I am very happy because I want to get to the bottom of this as much as anyone else."

She said they have asked the petition drive management firm they paid to do the signature gathering, the La Jolla Group, to follow up with everyone who registered with their party in San Diego County. Leaders have also already sent an email to anyone who listed an email address in their Common Sense Party voter registration.

Election 2020 news coverage

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Photo of Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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