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GOP Lawyers File Suit to Count More Votes

May 23, 1985

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Republican Party lawyers have filed suit on behalf of 32 voters whose ballots were left out of the recount of the bitterly contested 8th District congressional race.

House members voted last month to give Democrat Frank McCloskey the 8th District seat after a House recount found him the winner by four votes over Republican challenger Rick McIntyre. The Democrat-controlled House had refused to honor two earlier state certificates declaring McIntyre the winner.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court at Evansville on behalf of Mark Barkley of Greene County, one of the 32 voters whose non-notarized absentee ballots were rejected by a House recount task force.

The task force voted not to count the flawed ballots on grounds that they had been given different treatment than other ballots, although some other non-notarized absentees were allowed to be counted.

Since some were counted, the suit argued, all of them should be. The suit asks that the ballots be ordered counted and included in the recount result.

A survey of the 32 voters conducted by the Evansville Courier found McIntyre would win if their ballots were counted, the newspaper reported.

McCloskey spokesman Ron Critchlow said he was not surprised by the suit.

″They just won’t let this thing die,″ Critchlow said. ″They have the right to file suit if they want, but this thing has been settled.″

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Elwood Hillis of Kokomo filed a resolution Wednesday in the House asking for a committee to study rules for handling future election disputes.

Hillis ″came to the conclusion that there was no structure in place prior to this crisis, and that if there had been perhaps the House would not have been split along such partisan lines,″ spokesman John Stowell said.

Named as defendants in the suit are House Speaker Thomas P. ″Tip″ O’Neil, Majority Leader James Wright of Texas and the 12 Democratic members of the House Administration Committee which supervised the recount.

No date was set for a hearing.

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