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Foulkes v. Hays

85 Wash. 2d 629 (1975)

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Foulkes v. Hays

Washington Supreme Court

85 Wash. 2d 629 (1975)

Facts

Gordon Hays (defendant) was an incumbent in the 1974 election for Adams County Commissioner. Kenny Foulkes (plaintiff) was the challenger for that seat. After the votes were initially counted, Foulkes had 37 more votes than Hays. Hays then requested a recount of the 3,025 ballots cast. The recount was held 14 days after the initial vote tally and showed Hays winning by 71 votes. Between the initial tally and the recount, the ballots were stored by placing them into envelopes sealed with wax, which were placed into locked canvas bags. However, the keys to each of the bags were attached to the outside of the bags. The bags were then stored in the county auditor’s office. However, those bags were accessible to several people during the workday. Foulkes filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the election. Foulkes presented expert testimony that more than one person had filled out the ballot on 46 out of 53 ballots examined. The trial court set aside the results of the election and recount and ordered a new election to take place. Hays appealed this ruling, and Foulkes also appealed the court’s order requiring a new election.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Utter, J.)

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