Todd Files Another Appeal Seeking a New Election in the 150th Missouri House Race
Kennett, MO – Tom Todd will again turn to the Court of Appeals seeking another election to be held in Missouri’s 150th house district. Yesterday Judge Winchester ruled that because of new evidence showing voters received the wrong ballots the Cotton Hill precinct near Malden would be added to the two precincts, Campbell Rural and Ward 2 that were previously ordered revoted in his earlier ruling. The Judge also ordered that the three-precinct revote would occur on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
On December 18, 2012, Tom Todd filed a Petition for Writ of Prohibition in the Southern District Court of Appeals seeking an order for a revote of the entire 150th district in both Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties. If granted, Todd’s request would include in the revote precincts which had no allegations of voting irregularities.
No ruling on Tom Todd’s Petition has been made by the Southern District. A similar filing was made by Tom Todd on December 7th, 2012 and was summarily denied the following day by the Southern District Court of Appeals.
On November 13 County Clerk Carol Hinesly filed a Petition for New Election as she alleged that her office had made “numerous errors of commission and omission” in 2 precincts, Campbell Rural and Campbell Ward II. There were no allegations that voting irregularities occurred in any other precinct.
A trial was held on Plaintiff’s Petition on December 3rd, wherein Judge Winchester ruled from the bench that a revote would occur in only in Campbell Rural and Campbell Ward II on December 18, 2012. No other precincts would be required to revote as the Judge ruled that their previous vote tallies would stand.
On December 7th, Tom Todd filed a Petition for Writ of Prohibition against Judge Winchester in the Southern District Court of Appeals. In his Petition for Writ, Tom Todd asked the Court of Appeals to Order Judge Winchester to change his ruling and order that the entire 150th legislative district in Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties would have to revote, even in precincts where there were no allegations of any voting irregularities. The following day on December 8th, the Southern District Court of Appeals dismissed Tom Todd’s Petition for Writ of Prohibition.
It was at this point that Russell Oliver, attorney for Defendant Kent Hampton stated, “Kent was willing to stand by the Judge’s decision. We are glad to see that Appellate Court denied Tom Todd’s request and that the new election will occur on December 18th. Kent is looking forward to this revote and will be out knocking doors in Campbell Rural and Ward II tomorrow.”
However, in a third attempt to gain a new district-wide election for Tom Todd, on December 10, Plaintiff Carol Hinesly filed a “Motion for Rehearing based on Newly Discovered Evidence” which asks the Court to cancel the scheduled December 18th revote of Campbell Rural and Ward II, to hold a new hearing on the matter, and ultimately schedule a district-wide new election not less than 14 days from the date of the new hearing.
In her motion for rehearing and for canceling the December 18th revote, the Clerk alleged that five (5) registered voters in the Cotton Hill Rural precinct received ballots for the 152nd district when they lived in the 150th district.
After a conference call with all parties concerning this newly discovered evidence on December 10, Judge Winchester cancelled the December 18th new election and set a hearing on December 17th to consider the Plaintiff’s newly discovered evidence.
Meanwhile, on December 11, 2012, Plaintiff Tom Todd filed in the Missouri Supreme Court a Petition for Writ of Prohibition seeking the same relief that the Southern District had previously denied. In response to Tom Todd’s filing, on December 12, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a Preliminary Writ causing all further actions by the trial court to cease until final resolution of the Writ in the Supreme Court
On December 13, 2012, Russell Oliver, attorney for Kent Hampton, filed a “Motion to Dismiss the Cause as Moot and to Quash Preliminary Writ.” That same day the Supreme Court issued an order quashing the Preliminary Writ that it had issued the day before and dismissed Tom Todd’s entire case.
At that time, Russell Oliver, attorney for Kent Hampton, released the following statement concerning the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Tom Todd’s Petition, “It is Mr. Todd’s legal right to pursue these remedies and it is becoming very appearant that he is going to pursue every possible angle and approach possible. That certainly is his right but it is unfortunate that through pursuing every legal option is causing 35,000 people to go without representation, the voters are confused and frustrated and this thing needs finality so someone can get to work on the people’s business.” Oliver continued, “we are pleased to see that the Supreme Court dismissed Mr. Todd’s Petition so the trial court can get the people of Dunklin and Pemiscot Counties some finality on this whole mess.”