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By Brian Hews
Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that ABC Area 7 candidate Silvestre Vasquez violated electioneering laws during this past Tuesday’s election, asking for Hawaiian Gardens residents’ votes just outside the entrance to the polling place that was located at Fedde Middle School.
No electioneering is allowed within 100 feet of a polling place. Vasquez’ actions violate the State’s Elections Code 319.5 Section 3108 and is punishable as a misdemeanor.
Vasquez is only 8 votes behind the other Area 7 candidate Christopher Apodaca.
This is the second violation committed by Vasquez, with HMG-CN exclusively reporting in August that Vasquez listed his primary residence at 12134 114th St. in Hawaiian Gardens while an online title search showed Vasquez living in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath single-family dwelling on San Arturo Circle in Buena Park.
Sources told HMG-CN that Vasquez was handing out business cards to residents entering the polling place that had his picture and “Vote for Vasquez” printed on the card.
One resident, who did not want to be identified, told HMG-CN, “ he stood right in front of the door, stopped people, talked to them, then gave them a business card.”
The resident complained to the poll workers who said they told Vasquez to leave, “but the guy would not listen to us.”
The Poll Supervisor told the resident the same thing, “there is nothing we can do, he is not listening.”
So the resident called LA County to complain.
HMG-CN spoke to Hawaiian Council Rey Rodriguez who said, “I got a call Vasquez was passing out cards at the polling place within 100 feet, I went over there and (candidate) Myra (Maravilla) was handing out flyers beyond the 100 foot line. She said that Vasquez told her she had to be past the line.”
Rodriguez went on, “I walked over and confronted Vasquez asking him why did you tell Myra to go over there and pass out flyers and you are standing here?”
Rodriguez said at the time Vasquez was talking to HG Councilman Victor Farfan but Farfan left as soon as Rodriguez walked up.
Rodriguez asked Vasquez, “what are you doing passing out cards you know that is illegal?”
“Vasquez came up with some stupid answer saying ‘why are you interfering with my conversation with Myra,’ I thought that was weird,” he said.
Rodriguez once again told Vasquez it was illegal what he was doing and Vasquez snapped back, “who are you to tell me what I can do.”
Rodriguez went into the polling place and told them about Vasquez. The workers said to Rodriguez, “we told him to leave, but he ignored us.”
On his way out, Rodriguez once again told Vasquez it was illegal what he was doing and Vasquez replied, “you can’t come over here and tell me what to do.”
Rodriguez then talked to Myra and told her to call the police, Rodriguez then left.
The LA County elections supervisor showed up but, according to observers, the supervisor did nothing to stop Vasquez.
Finally Lakewood Sheriff’s arrived.
The resident told HMG-CN, “ they spoke to Vasquez, left him at the front door of the polling place so he could still hand out his cards, came over and questioned me, then left without moving Vasquez, can you believe that?”
Several poll workers, including the Supervisor, confirmed to HMG-CN that they asked Vasquez to leave several times, but he never did.
“He stayed in front of the door until the polls closed,” one of the poll workers said.
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