Dan Arthrell and Katie Henke: Arthrell is asking the district court to reconsider its decision declaring that the ballots were secure. Henke objects, saying the court no longer has jurisdiction.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The fight over the House District 71 seat continued Friday with Democrat Dan Arthrell asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to get involved.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State Election Board postponed considering certification of a winner in last week's special election pending possible action by a Tulsa County court where both parties have filed legal briefs.
Tulsa County District Judge Daman Cantrell has set a tentative hearing on the matter for Tuesday.
At issue is the outcome of a special election to fill the unexpired term of Republican Dan Sullivan, who resigned to become CEO of the Grand River Dam Authority.
The election was held April 3. On election night, the Tulsa County Election Board showed Arthrell as the winner over Republican Katie Henke by three votes.
Henke asked for recount, which occurred Wednesday and reversed the results.
The Tulsa County Election Board then certified her as the winner by one vote.
But when the sealed boxes containing the ballots were opened for the hand recount, officials found four fewer ballots than voting machines had recorded.
Voter registers also reflected that there should have been more ballots than were sealed.
After the Tulsa County Election Board certified Henke's victory, election workers reinspected election equipment and found two ballots for Arthrell in a tub that collect ballots under a tallying machine. If the stray ballots had been counted, Arthrell would have been the winner.
"The important thing is that everyone's vote gets counted," Arthrell said.
Henke could not be reached for comment.
Arthrell is asking the district court to reconsider its decision declaring that the ballots were secure, which paved the way for the recount, according to court documents.
Henke objects, saying in court documents that the court no longer has jurisdiction over the matter.
Arthrell is asking that the Oklahoma Supreme Court stay the certification of the results by the Oklahoma state Election Board.
The state Election Board was set to consider certifying the results at a 9 a.m. meeting Monday but postponed possible consideration until 1 p.m. Wednesday, said Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.
Henke and Arthrell have both filed their candidacies for the full term, as did Republican Evelyn L. Rogers.
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