NORMAN (AP) — A Cleveland County judge on Friday postponed a ruling in a lawsuit challenging the results of an Oklahoma House race where the incumbent won by just 16 votes.
District Judge Tracy Schumacher gave both sides until Tuesday morning to file any additional trial briefs and indicated she would rule by the end of that day.
Friday marked the second day of testimony over Democrat Paula Roberts’ petition alleging that 10 different irregularities make it “impossible to determine with mathematical certainty which candidate is entitled to a certificate of election.”
Roberts lost to Republican Rep. Aaron Stiles by 16 votes in the Nov. 6 election for the House District 45 seat.
Among Roberts’ allegations are that ineligible voters were allowed to cast ballots while some valid registered voters were not. Roberts also alleges that absentee ballots were improperly secured and that mistakes were made with both provisional ballots and voting machines, among other complaints.
Roberts’ attorney wants the court to count the provisional ballots that she claims were improperly excluded. But Schumacher has said state law does not give her the authority to order the ballots counted.
Election Board officials have acknowledged the office made mistakes during the general election. A box containing 60 absentee ballots was discovered two days after the election, but the House race’s original 18-vote margin remained unchanged after those ballots were counted.
A recount showed Stiles had won by 16 votes.