Voter fraud and other irregularities alleged in Missouri House District 40

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John Rizzo won the Democratic primary election for Missouri House District 40 in August by only one vote over Will Royster after a recount.[1] Chouteau Court, part of the Kansas City Housing Authority at 1220 Independence Avenue, is a precinct by itself in Missouri House District 40. But in the August 2010 primary election not one vote was cast from that precinct.[2]

District Court Case

Royster filed a law suit in Jackson County circuit court over several voting irregularities:[3]

  • consolidated polling places outside the district,
  • ballots not initialized by both election judges,
  • a Somali interpreter assisting voters and telling them how to vote.[4]

Kansas City election officials confirmed more than 24 voting discrepanices and the "suspicious" behavior of a possible interpreter before the Jackson County Circuit judge.[5]

Court of Appeals

Rizzo prevailed in district court, but Royster took his case to the Missouri Court of Appeals.[6]

Before the case was heard by the appeals court, Missouri Watchdog identified a disenfranchiesed precinct, and one voter in that precinct who could not find her new polling place since it had been moved outside the house district in violation of Missouri statute. Another voter was identified who was registered to vote outside the District before and after the election, yet voted in District 40 on Aug 3.[7]

The Missouri Court of Appeals expressed concerns that there was not enough time for a recount or a new primary election before the general election. The court denied the appeal, but Royster had filed another brief with the court before that ruling was issued.

Royster's campaign found additional voting irregularities and asked for a special master to consider new evidence, including:[8][9]

  • A Rizzo contributor living outside of District 40 allegedly voting in District 40.
  • Two voters in the primary who had a residence that “appears to be abandoned and boarded up.”
  • Three voters used an address in District 40 to vote but admitted on camera to KCTV[10] to be residents outside Jackson County. [Later The Pitch identified these three voters as Rizzo's aunt, uncle, and cousin.[11]]

The Missouri Court of Appeals denied the request for a special master[12].

On Oct. 15, 2010 Royster asked for the Court of Appeals to rehear the case, or transfer it to the Missouri Supreme Court:[13].