ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – UPDATE: 9/1/16 — Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says in a statement:
“In spite of Ms. Burger’s testimony, nothing has changed. As we acknowledged last week, we are reviewing the allegations of voter fraud. Beyond that, the Circuit Attorney does not discuss the status or process used to investigate criminal allegations. The proceedings before Judge Burlison are entirely separate civil matters and have no bearing on the actions of law enforcement.”
Voter fraud in St. Louis? Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Wednesday refused to dismiss a case that could result in a whole new election for State Representative.
Bruce Franks lost his challenge to incumbent Penny Hubbard by just 90 votes, but his attorneys argue 141 absentee votes shouldn’t have counted.
KMOX’s Michael Calhoun was in the courtroom this morning.
With an overhead projection of a map on the courtroom wall, Franks’ attorney plotted pins of all the absentee votes – many of them clustered around Hubbard’s house.
“This pattern is not coincidental,” he declared.
Hubbard’s attorney conceded that two voters lived outside the district, but everybody else who cast a ballot was eligible to do so. Hubbard’s attorney also argued it’s a missed chance – the only way Franks could contest those ballots is if he was there as they were being counted.
To vote absentee, there’s a lot of paperwork, and a voter is supposed to state a valid reason why they will be absent on election day. Franks’ attorney said paperwork for those absentee votes was missing essential information.
Hubbard’s attorney said most who voted were eligible, and they can’t be disenfranchised because of paperwork issues.
Franks’ attorney also alleged Hubbard operatives went door-to-door misleading voters, telling them they’re allowed to vote from home this year – some getting offers to have their ballots filled out for them.
St. Louis Election Board chairwoman Joan Burger testified that there have been complaints in the past about the excessive quantity of absentee ballots, KMOX’s Kevin Killeen reports this afternoon.
Franks’ attorney claimed the absentee vote rate of the total was 25 percent in Hubbard’s ward – the highest number in the city, he claimed.
The city-wide average for absentee ballots cast is 7.6 percent.
If the judge moves to order a special election, he has to move fast. The latest Burlison could do so is Tuesday morning.
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