Strayhorn loses lawsuit

No surprise here.

A federal judge Wednesday rejected Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s plea that the state should apply statistical sampling to count voter petitions for her independent gubernatorial candidacy.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, acting nine days after hearing the challenge, said Secretary of State Roger Williams’ plans to review voter signatures one by one is a “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” restriction.

Yeakel said the Constitution does not require the secretary to perform statistical sampling in reviewing Strayhorn’s collected signatures.

Strayhorn, who carted what she said were more than 223,000 voter signatures to Williams’ office on Tuesday, has no plans to appeal Yeakel’s ruling, her lawyer said.

“We’ll just go on from here,” Roy Minton said, though he and Brad McClellan, Strayhorn’s campaign manager, wondered aloud why Williams cannot let the public know once they’ve determined if she’s reached the signature threshold needed to qualify for the November ballot.

I still think Williams should have been ordered to accept petitions as they came in, any time before the deadline, and at least done the data entry in preparation for his thorough check, but other than that I think this ruling is fine. And as I said before, all that muttering about “why can’t he just count the first 45,000?” is a bit disingenuous, not to mention better for Kinky than it is for CKS.

Speaking of which, according to Rawhide at PinkDome, Kinky is going to turn in 11 boxes of signatures tomorrow. That doesn’t sound like much compared to Strayhorn, until you read this.

“As our staff is beginning to consolidate and organize all of the petitions that Ms. Strayhorn turned in yesterday, we have consolidated her 101 boxes (of petitions) down to 12,” says Scott Haywood, communications director for the Secretary of State’s office.

Haywood is not sure what the agency will do with the leftover cartons (all 101 delivered Tuesday were slapped with Strayhorn bumper stickers). He made it clear that Strayhorn did not fill boxes to the brim.

“If she had not been so hungry for media attention, we would not have had to waste time consolidating her petitions into a more usable format. By trying to get a bigger play in the media, she has made the process more time-consuming for our office.”

Strayhorn’s campaign manager, Brad McClellan, harrumphed, noting that Secretary of State Roger Williams, an appointee of GOP Gov. Rick Perry, evidently hasn’t verified any of the more than 223,000 voter signatures that Strayhorn says she turned in.

McClellan, saying that the campaign would like any empty boxes back, said: “It’s another political attack. They want to play games with boxes instead of doing their job.”

McClellann said Strayhorn’s campaign organized the petitions in 101 sets. “Try organizing one box full or carrying one full,” McClellan said. “It’s a shame they waste time doing this cheap partisan attack.”

Meow, meow. Anyway, that most likely puts my theorizing about signature-checking strategy to bed. We’ll know for sure tomorrow, but the whole kerfuffle is probably a big nothing.

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