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After the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee had recruited a candidate last fall to carry the party's banner in the 37th Assembly District, the plan fell through after he failed to deliver the completed forms and required signatures to the County Clerk's Office. So the Democrats will be without a candidate in the fall, right?

Maybe not. State elections law allows a write-in candidate in the primary to win a place on the general election ballot if the candidate can get write-in votes equal to 1 percent of the total ballots cast in the last election for the office being sought. In the case of the 37th Assembly District, that amounts to 1,187 votes.

That, then, is the target for Ferial Masry of Newbury Park, who has filed papers to become a qualified write-in on Democratic ballots on March 2.

Ventura County Assistant Registrar of Voters Bruce Bradley says he knows of only one case statewide in which a write-in candidate has been able to get enough votes to qualify for the general election ballot.

Masy -- no relation to Thousand Oaks City Councilman Ed Masry, -- has her work cut out for her, but if county Democrats can spread the word sufficiently to absentee voters, they might be able to generate 1,200 write-in votes. If she were to qualify, Masry would make an interesting candidate in the fall election. Born in Mecca, she is a Saudi Arabian immigrant whose son is serving with U.S. forces in Iraq.

95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com