Thursday, May 15, 2008

They won't take me alive

Is it my imagination or is this political season just uglier than most have been in the past?

From a presidential candidate who refuses to see the handwriting on the wall and continues to slam her opponent regardless of the ultimate harm it will do to her party to this wrangling over a loss by 17 votes.

All of which would mean that 4 different counties were allegedly in the mix to commit voter fraud and "rig" the election.

I imagine it will not end next week.

Attorneys set stage for election trial
By Chris Cobb: The Herald-Zeitung

Lawyers for State Representative Nathan Macias and Doug Miller exchanged brief arguments in Wednesday’s pretrial hearing, offering a small taste of what’s to come as Macias seeks to overturn the results of the March 4 primary election.

The current District 73 Representative is challenging his slim 17-vote loss in the March Republican primary.

The trial will start at 9 a.m. Monday in district court, but both attorneys showed glimpses Wednesday of what might be some of the main points of contention when the hearing begins. Macias is alleging that not only did numerous clerical and voting errors taint the election, but that outright fraud also might have affected the outcome. His lawsuit claims that voting totals reported by the four counties in the district don’t add up to voting numbers turned into the secretary of state’s office, particularly in Gillespie County.

Macias’ attorney Rene Diaz said that exactly 17 more ballots were turned in than the total number of people that were recorded as having voted in Gillespie.“What possible explanation for that could there be other than fraud, illegal conduct or a mistake?” Diaz asked during the pretrial proceedings.Miller’s attorney, Bob Heath, contended that a discrepancy between the numbers in the four counties and those of the secretary of state doesn’t prove fraud. He argued that a large difference in those numbers prompted Diaz to originally claim that some 1,200 people may have illegally double-voted in the election. Diaz now is saying 11 people double-voted.“It seems to me that that’s an allegation that every county was engaged in some sort of fraudulent activity,” Heath said. “That’s absurd and offensive.”

The arguments were heard by visiting District Judge James Clawson. Clawson’s appointment was challenged by Macias in three separate courts over the last several weeks, ultimately to no avail. The Supreme Court of Texas ruled Tuesday that Clawson will remain on the case. Wednesday’s session was just the beginning of what both Diaz and Clawson speculated could be a lengthy hearing, with Diaz saying it would last “at least four days.”