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TODAY at 4:30 p.m.: Federal Court to Hear Case Brought by Voters in HD-28’s “Irreparably Tainted” Election


From the VA House Democratic caucus:

*TODAY at 4:30 p.m.*: Federal Court to Hear Case Brought by Voters in HD-28’s “Irreparably Tainted” Election

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia will today hold a hearing in Lecky v. State Board of Elections, a federal case brought by disenfranchised voters from House District 28.

The voters are seeking an injunction that would de-certify the results and order a new election.

The hearing will be at 4:30 p.m. at the federal courthouse at 401 Courthouse Square in Alexandria.

By admission of the Department of Elections, 147 people were given ballots for the wrong House District in race in which the margin between Democrat Rev. Joshua Cole and Republican Bob Thomas is only 73 votes.

Of the 147 people who voted in the wrong House District:

  • 61 people from HD-28 were given ballots for HD-88
  • 61 people from HD-88 were given ballots for HD-28
  • 25 people from HD-28 were given ballots for HD-2

According to an investigative report broken this week by WTOP, state officials were aware of prior problems with voters who were assigned to the wrong House Districts. 

The Washington Post and Daily Press editorial boards have both called for a new election in HD-28, with the Post noting that the results are “irreparably tainted.” 

Cole is the first African-American to be named the Democratic nominee for the 28th House District. He has noted that this case is “brought by voters, for voters” and that his entire campaign “has been about fighting for the people of the 28th District.”

  • Gene Church

    Cole would have to win 75% of the extra ballots to win. I don’t see that happening.

    • We need a new election; the one in November was irreparably tainted.

      • Gene Church

        That sounds like, “We need one more vote to win, and will do whatever it takes to get it.”

        • Huh? Saying we need a new election b/c the one in November was all f’ed up isn’t saying “we need one more vote to win.” It’s quite possible Dems would lose a lower-turnout special election, but at least let’s have a fair election to determine HD-28’s representation.

          • Gene Church

            To say that it is “irreparably tainted” is an opinion at best, and a biased one at worst. I guess we will see this afternoon what the judge has to say.

          • It’s an opinion based on the facts of the case. We’ll see what the judge decides – possibly later today.

          • Gene Church

            Of course the Post declared it “irreparably tainted.” Is there a reason you are mimicking it?

    • Theron Keller

      Written by Mr. Cole’s attorney. Of course it’s “persuasive,” if it wasn’t, he wouldn’t be Mr. Cole’s attorney! One-sided court filings are “persuasive” as well, but fortunately, the judge hears BOTH sides.

      • So let’s say this was NOT Mr. Cole’s attorney; I presume you don’t agree with the argument, but why exactly not? What’s flawed about it? Please be specific.

        • Theron Keller

          Do you actually read comments before you disparage them? Did I say the article by Mr. Cole’s attorney was flawed? No, I did not. I merely pointed out that it was indeed “persuasive,” because that is Mr. Cole’s attorney’s JOB. It’s nothing more than a paid Op-ED piece.

          • Yes, I read your comment. Now, what’s flawed about the op-ed? What about the argument is incorrect? Please be specific.

  • Theron Keller

    So if the judge rules, and it is eventually upheld that there should be another election, who would be eligible to vote?

    Would it be all the voters in the 28th district who are registered on the date of the new election?

    Would it be only the voters in the 28th district who were registered on November 7, 2017?

    Would it be only the voters in the 28th district who actually voted on November 7, 2017?

    It seems to me that allowing ANY of these options (particularly the first two) also “irreparably taints” the outcome, because the circumstances and especially the consequences of their vote has substantially changed since November 7, 2017.

    The truth is that there is simply no possible way to cleanly resolve this issue, not even a second election, which, due to the publicity and impact of the outcome, would be completely different than the first, had there been no issues with the district assignments.

    What the Democrat party is pleading to recover, is, in fact, not possible to recover, under any circumstances.

    • Esther Ferington

      When there is an error with an election, sometimes a special election is held. That’s not a novel remedy or a brand-new invention. We’ll see what the judge decides will happen in this case.

    • As soon as someone writes, “Democrat party,” I generally tend to ignore everything else they have to say.

      • Theron Keller

        That explains why you know so much that isn’t so… 🙂

    • Dave Webster

      Presumably, a special election would allow all those registered on the day of the special election to vote. Any of the other options you posit would present a logistical nightmare.