Anna and Pierce Whites, lawyers for Rep. Jim Glenn, have filed a motion asking for the lawyer representing D.J. Johnson to be disqualified from the case for “interference in an election in violation of law.” In addition, the motion asks that the vote altered as a result of that interference to be removed from the vote count as spoiled.
During the Saturday recount of the election between Glenn and Johnson, the attorney representing Johnson approached the county clerk and challenged the ruling of the board of elections on one particular ballot. After further discussion and in consultation with the county attorney, the board changed their ruling and awarded a vote to Johnson, thus causing the race to be tied.
The filed motion notes that Kentucky law forbids interference in an election by any individual, then goes on to state
During the recount process, D.J. Johnson and his counsel intentionally, obviously, and has been reported not only by Representative Glenn’s observers but by the media, approached and pressured election officials to alter the vote count and, with particularity, to grant D.J. Johnson an additional vote.
This appears to be a blatant abuse of political power by the majority party, when the lawyers who are paid by that party, have worked for the Governor, and are working at the request of the Speaker make the demand to persons in their political party that the result of a vote count be changed, during that vote count, so that their client and preferred candidate does not lose.
The motion then calls this “potentially a criminal act,” and goes on to outline the statutes that classify “interference with an election” as a Class D felony:
KRS 117.275(1) permits a candidate or designated observers to “witness” the counting of ballots. This statute does not permit discussion or attack of the count during the process by the candidate or his designates. KRS 117.317(5) prohibits interference with the conduct of an election by any challenger of observer. KRS 119.155(1) provides, in pertinent part: “Any person who … unlawfully interferes with the election officers in the discharge of their duties, shall be guilty of a Class D felony.” Johnson and his counsel intentionally interfered with the election and recount and have violated the law in do doing.
Finally, the motion notes that challenges to absentee ballots must be in writing, which was not the process followed during the Saturday recount.
Due to both the interference of opposing counsel and not following the challenge process, the Whites’ motion calls for the absentee ballot in question to be discarded as spoiled, and the awarded vote to be removed from Johnson’s total, resulting in Glenn once again winning by one vote.