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A Suit to Prevent a Legislature from Voiding a Close Election

Robert Timothy Reagan
July 21, 2016
Available Online Only

Ford v. Beavers (Bernice B. Donald, W.D. Tenn. 2:06-cv-2031)
On the day before a state senate was expected to void a senator’s election to the senate by a very close special election because of concerns that some votes were fraudulent, a federal district judge enjoined senate action on the matter pending a hearing in a federal case filed by the newly elected senator and three voters who voted for her. Following a hearing, the judge issued a declaratory judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor. The senate subsequently removed the senator from office, but at the end of the session the judge enjoined the naming of an interim replacement. The senator won the seat again at the next election, an appeal was deemed moot, and the judge awarded the plaintiffs $117,263 in attorney fees, costs, and expenses.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: Election errors; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.