November 27, 2008
HD105 litigation update

The recount in HD105 can now begin, according to a Dallas district court judge, who ruled he did not have the jurisdiction to act on the Democratic lawsuit over "emphasis votes".

State District Judge Jim Jordan on Tuesday said legal questions over how best to conduct a recount in the House District 105 race should be addressed. But, he said, his court wasn't the correct venue for it.

"I was looking forward to this case," Judge Jordan said in ruling that only an appellate court or the state Supreme Court has jurisdiction. "It has some interesting issues I would have enjoyed working with. And it has issues that need dealing with."

Judge Jordan issued his jurisdictional ruling after hearing all the evidence and testimony in the case that centers on two hot-button election issues - straight-party voting and electronic voting machines.

Democratic Party attorneys, who filed the suit Friday, said they had not decided whether they would appeal the ruling.

Unless another court gets involved, Dallas County elections officials will begin the recount Monday in the District 105 race using the most recent instructions issued directly to them by the Texas secretary of state's office. Those say that "deselected" or "emphasis" votes from electronic machines should not be counted.


Among the arguments presented during two days of testimony were whether the secretary of state should be a party to the suit, whether any "emphasis" or "deselected" votes existed and what orders Judge Jordan would have been able to hand down if he did have jurisdiction.

Judge Jordan said Tuesday that if a higher court rules that he does have jurisdiction, he has already weighed testimony, evidence and arguments about the case itself.

"I'm ready to rule if they kick it back," he said.

I'd like to see someone address these issues, too, though ideally it would be the Legislature. In the meantime, let's get this recount going.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 27, 2008 to Election 2008
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