We'll have to wait till next week to find out what will happen with the Heflin challenge.
State Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, who is gathering evidence for a House committee that will consider Heflin's charge that he lost because of ineligible voters, had hoped to make his recommendation today. But he said Tuesday he needs more time to sift through evidence from a two-day hearing last week.
Hartnett said he will tally the votes and "implicitly state a winner" Monday.
The House's nine-member Select Committee on Election Contest will begin its hearings on Tuesday.
Hartnett will issue rulings on each of about 250 ballots alleged to have been cast by ineligible voters, and recommend whether the votes should be counted or tossed. Hartnett said he will agree to remove only votes in which voters were proved to be ineligible, voted in the Heflin-Vo race and will testify for whom they voted.
After weeks of alleging fraud, Heflin's lawyers acknowledged Friday that they found no organized fraud in the election that unseated the Republican lawmaker.
Hartnett said he did find cases of fraudulent voter registration but that it did not appear intended to affect the Heflin-Vo race.
He said the registrations of about five voters in District 149 were moved without their knowledge to a different district, possibly to benefit a candidate in that district.
Heflin's lawyers tried to get the votes thrown out, contending the voters were registered somewhere else but allowed to vote in the District 149 race.
Hartnett, however, declared their votes legal, ruling that the voters were legitimate residents of District 149 and that their registrations in the other district were forged.
"If someone you don't know moves your registration you should not be disenfranchised," Hartnett said. "The state is not going to recognize fraud on these innocent people."
This article by Greg Moses, the same fellow who produced the ILCA pieces noted here, sheds some light on the voters whose registrations were moved, and gives a bit more detail on the hearings. Via Andrew D.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 02, 2005 to Election 2004 | TrackBack