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November 30, 2012

House District 45 hearing continues after petition

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Amanda Roberts, campaign manager and daughter of Paula Roberts, said they are hoping the hearing will be resolved today.

Roberts is asking for a new election. To argue that case, Bledsoe is primarily attacking voter ID law and state legislative action that grants special provisions to military and overseas voters.

According to Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Jim Williams, if the judge rules that a new election is in order, the cost to taxpayers would run around $12,500.

Such a ruling likely would set the stage for further litigation to answer the question of whether Oklahoma election laws are constitutional.

“We must also recognize that this case is almost certainly headed for the Supreme Court,” McCampbell states in the supplemental brief.

Bledsoe also is claiming a discrepancy between the machine count and the manual recount, but the recount resulted in only a two-vote difference. Following the election, Stiles led by 18 votes. Following the recount, Stiles led by 16 votes.

Ballots that were contested by the attorneys for the candidates would increase that gap back to the original 18 vote lead by Stiles.

Bledsoe is further alleging that 17 persons who had “changed their domicile from within the district to outside the district” had “improperly voted in the election.” But whether those voters cast votes for either Stiles or Roberts is unknown.

As long as voters have appropriate ID, the residence listed under voter registration is not questioned. The only time address is questioned is if a voter must vote by provisional ballot.

In addition, Bledsoe’s latest amended petition states that 29 persons were “permitted to vote, even though the precinct judge did not verify the voter’s identification.”

Joy Hampton366-3539jhampton@normantranscript.com

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