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Ballot Dispute Disrupts Vernon City Election

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VERNON (AP) — A challenger appears to have won a City Council seat in the corruption-marred Southern California city of Vernon, but controversy over some votes means the count is unofficial.

The city’s first contested election in years was held Tuesday in the Los Angeles County industrial city with about 100 residents.

A city statement says Michael Ybarra beat incumbent Daniel Newmire, 24 to 19. Two ballots remain uncounted until voter signatures can be verified.

Eight ballots were rejected because of invalid signatures or the voters didn’t live in Vernon.

The city received complaints about a surge of new registered voters as the election approached.

Vernon has been under scrutiny since three ex-officials were convicted of misusing public funds.

Vernon avoided a state effort to no longer incorporate it last year by agreeing to reforms.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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