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December 1, 2012

Judge to rule Tuesday on House District 45 election

NORMAN — Arguments concluded Friday in Democratic candidate Paula Roberts’ hearing alleging election irregularities in the House District 45 race.

District Judge Tracy Schumacher heard arguments at Cleveland County Courthouse and said she would issue a ruling at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“I feel good, we got all of our information out there today,” Roberts said Friday afternoon after more than four hours of testimony and evidence produced by her legal team.

State Rep. Aaron Stiles, the House District 45 Republican incumbent, was found to have a 16-vote lead after the official recount earlier this month.

Friday was the second day of the testimony and evidence hearing. The hearing started on Nov. 20.

The petition is an attempt by Roberts to prove a mathematical uncertainty that would void the election and serve as cause for the judge to order a new election for the east Norman district.

Stiles has maintained that Roberts is trying to win the election through litigation and that her counselors have been on a “fishing expedition” looking for cause to vacate the Nov. 6 election.

“We’re concentrating on facts,” said attorney Barry Roberts who is also Paula Roberts’ husband. “We’re looking at people who voted in House District 45.”

The first action introduced on Friday morning were additional changes to the petition.

“This morning a third amended petition was filed,” Roberts’ attorney, Greg Bledsoe, told Schumacher.

While the scope of the allegations were narrowed in the new petition, the primary challenges to the absentee voter and voter ID processes and procedures were called into question.

Bledsoe also subpoenaed 14 people who did not change their voter registrations after moving but voted at their previous precincts. Judge Schumacher expressed concern that those people could be incriminating themselves if they testified.

Assistant Election Board Secretary Annette Pretty also returned to the stand on Friday. Pretty had been called to the stand earlier in the case regarding election procedures.

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