Edwards to Challenge Prince
George's Vote in Court|
By Brianna Bond
Capital News Service
Friday, Sept. 15, 2006
WASHINGTON - Donna Edwards, who is trailing seven-term
incumbent Rep. Albert Wynn by fewer than 3,000 votes,
announced she'll pursue legal action against the Prince George's
County Board of Elections for "serious irregularities" in
Tuesday's primary election results.
"We are not at this point alleging any fraud," said Jonathan
Shurberg, Edwards' lawyer. He explained that in two or more
precincts voting machines still containing memory cards --
indicating they had not been counted -- were returned to the Board
of Elections. The mistake "appeared to have increased
Congressman Wynn's vote totals disproportionately," he said.
Voters in the 4th Congressional District, which includes
parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, encountered a
myriad of problems when they went to cast their votes, including
missing voting cards and unreliable computers. Some were forced to
vote using provisional ballots, while others were prohibited from
voting at all. Many votes have yet to be counted.
Wynn said Edwards wants to have things both ways, first
saying she wants to count all the votes and then saying she
wants to throw them out.
"That's not fair. You can't represent people whom you want to
disenfranchise. The voters are now going to have an opportunity
to see what Miss Edwards really thinks about them," Wynn said in
a statement read by spokesman Alon Kupferman. "Elected
officials must respect the right of the voters to exercise their
Including the first round of absentee ballots from Montgomery
County, Edwards, who has 36,142 votes, trails Wynn, who has
39,085 votes, according to both counties' Board of Elections' Web
Two or three Prince George's precincts reported the results
late Wednesday, Shurberg said. Neither he nor Edwards could
confirm published reports that two of the precincts are in
"There are serious irregularities in that nobody can account
for the whereabouts or security of the machines or voting cards
between 8 p.m. Tuesday and . . . about 5 p.m. on Wednesday when
these machines with memory cards in them were delivered to the
Board of Elections," he said.
Montgomery County, where Edwards held a strong lead over
Wynn, will start counting between 10,000 and 12,000 provisional
ballots on Monday. It's possible the results won't be announced
until Thursday, Montgomery County election officials said.
"I'm not going to rest until this is resolved," Edwards has
Wynn supports an independent investigation, Kupferman said.
Edwards will pursue an evidentiary hearing as soon as
possible, ideally before Monday, Shurberg said.
"We will be asking a court to take possession of these
machines and the memory cards in the machines until full
explanation of what occurred can be provided," he said.
Shurberg declined to comment on whether they will pursue a
full recount of the vote.
"Right now our interest is in getting the votes counted," he
said. "When we get all the votes counted, she'll make a decision
on what she wants to do."
This is the first time Wynn has received less than 75 percent
of the vote since he was elected into office in 1992.
The two candidates have been locked in a tight race, which
some found surprising given the fact that Edwards, a lawyer and
community activist, has no previous experience in public
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