More Hans v. Reality

Hans: “A 2010 election in Kansas that ended in a one-vote margin of victory included 50 votes cast illegally by citizens of Somalia.”

Reality (Missouri Court of Appeals, affirming the following findings of the trial court) (note that this happened in Missouri not Kansas, as Hans stated):

Contestant Royster alleged that interpreters improperly assisted several Somali voters by handling the ballots, completing ballots, and providing instructions to the voters, at the Garfield Elementary School and the Kansas City Museum polling locations. Under the plain language of the statute, if Somali voters were unable to read or write, blind, or physically disabled, they were legally permitted to request assistance in voting. The only potential violations revealed in the evidence were that voters who needed assistance may not have been asked to make a declaration under oath, or that the interpreter helped more than one person to whom he/she was not related. There was testimony that at least one of the Somali men who was assisting persons was related to those persons. It would be proper for such assistance to be provided under the law. The evidence indicates that the election judges did not request an oath in these situations, and it was therefore a mistake of the election officials that no cards with proper oaths were obtained. There is no evidence that the failure of the election officials to obtain the cards interfered with the ability of the voters to cast the vote of their choice. Because [Section 115.445.3] does not automatically result in the invalidation of such a vote, the affect of these violations must be assessed. The key issue is whether the interpreter cast fraudulent ballots for voters or whether he voted as directed by qualified voters. . . . .
Based on the totality of the evidence, including the Court‟s determination of the credibility and bias of the witnesses, the evidence demonstrated that, although one or more individuals may have engaged in suspicious conduct at the Ward 11, Precincts 3 and 4 polling place in the East hall of the Garfield Elementary School, and the election judges may have made mistakes in administering certain election requirements, such as not offering or administering an oath to persons requiring assistance . . . the evidence does not establish that the conduct was fraudulent, that any person who was not registered to vote voted, or that any registered voter was prevented from casting their ballot as they intended.

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