150th Election Contest: Big Win for Hampton, Judge Orders Revote of Only Two Precincts
At the close of all evidence, a recess was taken to allow Judge Wm. Hense Winchester time to read a trial brief submitted by Russell Oliver, attorney for Kent Hampton, and to read the deposition of the Plaintiff, Carol Hinsley, who was unavailable because she had left the United States on Saturday, December 1, and at the time of trial Ms. Hinsley was in Cancun, Mexico.
After the recess, the Judge ruled from the bench that there would be a revote of only the Campbell Rural and Campbell Ward 2 precincts on Tuesday, December 18.
The vote margin of victory for Kent Hampton outside the Campbell Rural and Ward 2 precincts was 140 votes. In order for the result of the election to change Tom Todd will have to garner 141 votes more than Hampton in these two precincts.
Russell Oliver, Kent Hampton’s attorney stated, “while it was our position that no new election was necessary, we respect the judge’s decision and will gladly participate in a revote of these questioned precincts.” Oliver continued, “we certainly want to insure that the legitimacy of our election process is secure.”
Oliver was uncertain whether or not Tom Todd or the Clerk would file an appeal. Oliver says that his client simply plans on participating in the revote and will not file an appeal of the decision if the other parties chose to do the same.
Hinsley requested that the Court order a new election in the entire district, including both Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties, due to her office having given numerous voters in the Campbell Rural precinct who lived in the 150thdistrict ballots for the 152nd,, and vice versa. The clerk also alleged that while only 253 voters signed the poll books in Campbell Ward 2, there were 316 votes cast. It is unknown how these 63 ballots were cast by voters who did not sign the poll book.
Stephen Sokoloff, the Plaintiff’s attorney is the Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney. Russell Oliver is the part-time Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney but was not acting in his capacity as prosecutor during this litigation and was Kent Hampton’s private attorney.