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Cleveland County judge plans to rule Tuesday in Oklahoma House District 45 election case

District Judge Tracy Schumacher has said she will rule Tuesday on alleged irregularities in the Oklahoma House District 45 race. The judge heard evidence in the case Friday but gave attorneys until 9 a.m. Tuesday to file final written arguments.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Published: December 1, 2012

A Cleveland County judge said she will rule Tuesday on alleged voting irregularities in the state House District 45 race.

District Judge Tracy Schumacher gave attorneys for Democratic challenger Paula Roberts and incumbent Republican Aaron Stiles until 9 a.m. Tuesday to file final written arguments in the case. Schumacher said she will issue a ruling by 5 p.m.

Stiles is the unofficial winner of the contest by a 16-vote margin, but Roberts wants the results declared invalid and a new election called. She cites irregularities that include ballots that were declared invalid that should have been counted and other ballots that were counted that should have been declared invalid.

In a hearing Friday, eight voters refused to answer questions about ballots they cast on Nov. 6 after being told by the judge their testimony could be incriminating.

Greg Bledsoe, who represents Roberts, said the eight people were expected to testify that they had moved out of House District 45 before the election but had returned to their old precincts to vote in the race or had submitted absentee ballots based on their old addresses.

Schumacher said state law prohibits voters from casting ballots in precincts in which they no longer reside. She advised them to confer with attorneys before testifying and to consider invoking their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.

Attorney Carol Dillingham, who represents the Cleveland County Election Board, said officials did not believe any of them knowingly broke the law when they voted and doubted any testimony would result in prosecution.

After conferring with attorneys, Jasmine Still agreed to testify anyway, telling the court she cast a provisional ballot in the race, although she had moved from Norman to Edmond about a month before Nov. 6.

Still said she was “under the impression” she could return to her old precinct to vote. However, she said, she had to cast a provisional ballot when she arrived at the poll because she forgot to bring a valid identification.

Four people — besides Still and the eight people who invoked the Fifth Amendment — were subpoenaed to testify but failed to appear in court Friday. Those four had been expected to say they had voted in the race although they no longer lived in the district, Bledsoe said.

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by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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