Democratic Voters Appeal Judge's Decision In Fredericksburg Area Race

Jan 8, 2018

Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

Last week a federal judge in Alexandria denied a request from Fredericksburg voters to throw out the results of an election where dozens of voters were given the wrong ballot. Now, those voters are appealing the case.

Voters who were not allowed to vote for candidates in the House of Delegates district where they live in Fredericksburg are seeking an emergency appeal. They’re asking the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond prevent the Republican from being seated.

Attorney Marc Elias says the election results are not valid. “The results of the House District 28 election are unknown and unknowable.”

Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey says the judges on the appeals court have a reputation of being more liberal than the judge who heard the original case last week. So they’re more likely to be receptive to the argument that the rights of the voters who brought the case were violated.

“I think this court is going to find that rises to the level of the deprivation of the constitutional right to vote," Kelsey said.  "But I still wonder if the right remedy is to throw out the entire election, and I don’t know if the appeals court is going to go that far.”

We should know soon enough. If the appeals court issues an injunction to prevent the Republican from being seated this week, that ruling would have to happen before the session starts on Wednesday at noon.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.