Thousands of ballots with alleged 'sham candidates' name printed


by Carina Sonn

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 26 at 10:41 PM

MESA, Ariz.-- The recall election for Russell Pearce's senate seat, gets even more complicated.

Thousands of ballots with an alleged 'sham candidate's' name have already been printed.

Critics say Olivia Cortes' candidacy is only meant to split the vote in favor of Russell Pearce.

A lawsuit was filed on Friday, along with a temporary restraining order on Monday, asking that Cortes be removed from the race and kept off the ballot.

Mary Lou Boettcher and her attorney argue Cortes "has no campaign headquarters, no volunteers, no fundraising, no platform and avoids the media like the plague," according to court documents.

Boettcher is a retired teacher, who lives in District 18.

And while the legal battle continues, ballots have already been printed, and shipped.

"The county had printed approximately 70,000 ballots and had already shipped 102 of them with the sham candidates name overseas to our men and women in service," said attorney Thomas Ryan.

Meanwhile Cortes has rolled out a new campaign website and signs have been popping up with the iconic Cesar Chavez phrase 'Si se puede.'

Boettcher believes some Hispanic voters will be fooled into supporting Cortes.

"There will be some that will not know and will vote because they see the Hispanic name."

A hearing is set for Thursday morning, when a judge could make a decision about Cortes' status in the race.