Pabey v. Pastrick
Indiana Supreme Court
816 N.E.2d 1138 (I2004)
George Pabey (plaintiff) was a mayoral candidate in East Chicago, Indiana. Pabey lost the election to Robert Pastrick (defendant) by 278 votes. Pabey received 199 more in-person votes than Pastrick, but Pastrick received 477 more absentee votes than Pabey. After the election, Pabey discovered that Pastrick supporters had engaged in widespread voter fraud related to the absentee-voting process to win the election for Pastrick, including soliciting votes for monetary payments, filling out ballots for voters, falsifying information on ballots, and possessing blank and completed ballots without authorization. Pabey sued under the Indiana Election Contest Statute and sought to have all absentee ballots invalidated or, alternatively, for the initial election to be invalidated and a new election held. The trial court invalidated 155 votes that were proved to have been unlawfully influenced by Pastrick supporters but would not invalidate the remaining absentee ballots or the election. The court interpreted the statute and decided that the fraud was not widespread enough to render it impossible to determine who won the election. Pabey appealed to the court of appeals, which dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Pabey then appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dickson, J.)
Dissent (Boehm, J.)
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