Lawsuit filed by GOP candidate for House 53 seat

Earlier this month, the race for House District 53 was one of the closest in the state, as Democratic State Representative Ted Vick fended off a close challenge by Chesterfield County Republican Richie Yow by less than four percentage points (5,626 votes to Yow's 5,179 votes). 

Yow filed a lawsuit in state court today, alleging "in excess of 2,000 illegal/improper votes were cast", citing a number of reasons, including voters who no longer resided in the district, illegal absentee ballots cast in the race, potential double-counting of voters and not following procedures which required election officials to allow Republican Party officials to view machines and absentee voting.

Yow's suit asks for the courts to throw the election results out and order a new election to be held for the seat.

While Vick's seat had long been considered safe for Democrats, several factors put the seat in play this year. Fifth District Congressman Mick Mulvaney's 2010 win of both two counties in which the district drew the attention of GOP strategists. A wave of high-profile negative publicity aimed at Vick following his DUI arrest in May and his subsequent withdrawal from the race for the Seventh Congressional District was seen as behind a wave of discontent which helped fuel Yow's under-funded candidacy.

A number of GOP officials we spoke with about this matter were supportive of Yow pursuing the appeals process, including Lancaster County GOP Chair Sandy McGarry:

Richie Yow has my full support in uncovering any voter irregularities or improper handling of the election process in any way in Chesterfield County. He is an honest man who will settle for nothing less from others. He has defended our country and now he is trying to defend his district by finding the truth.

The Blogland will keep our readers posted on this one ... and you can read Yow's petition to the court here.

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