On December 17, a lower Montana state court ruled that Rick Jore is the new Montana State Representative from the 12th district. Rick Jore is the Constitution Party nominee, and he becomes the first state legislator in the nation to be elected under the Constitution Party label.
The court ruled that the election results, as tabulated in the recount, are correct. The recount showed that Jore and his Democratic opponent tied. Under Montana law, a tie vote for state legislature gives the Governor the right to appoint, and Montana’s outgoing Republican Governor had appointed Jore to the seat a few days earlier, since the recount had shown a tie. Jore’s Democratic opponent filed a lawsuit to overturn the results of the recount, but her lawsuit did not succeed.
Today, San Diego city elections officials released the results of an examination of certain write-in ballots cast for Mayor last month. They show that over 4,100 voters wrote in Donna Frye for Mayor, but didn’t blacken the oval next to the write-in line. If these votes are considered valid, Frye received the most votes for Mayor on November 2.
This factual revelation increases the likelihood that Frye will pursue an appeal in the State Court of Appeals, to obtain a decision that those type of votes should be counted.
Today, the electoral college members met in their respective state capitols. One of the Minnesota Democratic electors voted for John Edwards for president instead of voting for John Kerry.
West Virginia elector Richie Robb cast his vote for President Bush, failing to fulfil his promise to vote for someone else.
Today the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana denied a request to halt the certification and order a revote in the San Diego mayoral election.
The lawsuit, filed by a supporter of third-place finisher Ron Roberts, said the city violated its charter by allowing Frye to run as a write-in candidate and sought a new election between Murphy and Roberts, the top two vote-getters in the March primary.
In the decision, The court declined to consider whether the city violated its charter, saying the challenge should have come before the election. The lawsuit by Thomas McKinney, who works in the office of Roberts supporter John Howard, was filed six days after the vote. The Court noted that it was not considering the separate question whether write-in votes cast for Frye that were not bubbled correctly should be counted. That is the subject of a separate suit and possible post-certification contest by Frye.
Write-in candidate Donna Frye refused to concede, saying she was “still in the hunt” and was considering whether to start a legal defense fund.
The final tally — which shows Murphy with 34.5 percent, Frye with 34.1 percent and Roberts, a San Diego County supervisor, with 31 percent — excludes ballots on which voters wrote Frye’s name but failed to darken the adjoining oval. She estimates those ballots total up to 5,000, potentially enough to overtake Murphy.
Anyone who wishes to obtain a copy of each state’s ballot may do so, by sending $10 to Ballot Access News, PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147. You will receive a copy of each state’s ballot, on a piece of 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper. Since many ballots are larger than this, what you will receive (in the case of over-size ballots) is that part of that state’s ballot that contains the presidential candidates. The packet also includes the Guam and D.C. ballots.
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus, of Columbus, Ohio, temporarily let the Ohio presidential election recount go forward. That recount had been requested by David Cobb and Michael Badnarik. State ex rel Delaware Co. Bd. of Elections v National Voting Rights Institute, David Cobb & Michael Badnarik, no. C2-04-1139.
Last week, a state court judge in Delaware County had issued an injunction against the recount, but attorneys for Cobb and Badnarik removed that case to federal court. The federal court will hold a further hearing, but in the meantime the recount may proceed.