New Runoff Election Ordered for Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Race Which was Decided by One Vote After Judge Cites Illegal Votes

The race for the Caddo Parish Sheriff in Louisiana has been upended by a recent court ruling that demands a new runoff election. Ad hoc Judge Joe Bleich declared the former November 18 runoff results null and void on Tuesday morning after identifying illegal voting in the race.

The ruling came after a highly contested runoff election held on November 18, which initially declared Democrat Henry Whitehorn the victor by a mere one-vote margin, as reported by The Gateway Pundit.

Republican John Nickelson rightfully requested a recount to respect the “will of the people.” Read his statement below:

I am a candidate for Caddo Parish Sheriff in the November 18, 2023, runoff election, and unofficial returns appear to reflect a one-vote difference between the candidates out of 43,241 votes counted. The number of absentee by mail and early voting ballots cast for both candidates well exceeds this margin, and therefore could make a difference in the outcome of the election for the office.

As allowed by La. R.S. 18:1313 and other applicable law, 1 hereby request a hand recount and inspection of all absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and all other paper ballots, including, but not limited to, any such ballots cast in Caddo Parish, reviewed or received by your office, reviewed or received by the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters, or reviewed or received by the Caddo Parish Board of Election Supervisors. This request includes, but is not limited to, both rejected and accepted ballots and the flaps, “tear-sheets” or certificates associated with all such ballots. I further request a recount of any provisional and any paper early voting ballots by hand.

I further request as allowed by law that I and my representatives be permitted to inspect (1) the certificates (sometimes described as “flaps” or “tear off sheets”) removed from any mail, absentee, provisional, or any other paper ballots which were accepted or rejected by the relevant authority; and (2) all absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and any other paper ballots, including, but not limited to, any such ballots cast in Caddo Parish, reviewed or received by your office, reviewed or received by the Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters, or reviewed or received by the Caddo Parish Board of Election Supervisors. This request likewise includes, but is not limited to, both rejected and accepted ballots and certificates attached to or removed from all such ballots. This request and the terms used herein are to be interpreted in the broadest reasonable manner permitted by law.

Nickelson immediately filed a lawsuit against Whitehorn and election officials, challenging the results due to alleged voting discrepancies. Judge Bleich, in his decisive ruling, stated, “It is legally impossible to know what the true vote should have been,” thus invalidating the runoff election results, KSLA reported.

Upon investigation, Judge Bleich identified at least 11 illegal votes, including instances of double voting, ineligible absentee/mail-in ballots, and votes cast by disqualified felons. Among these, two individuals were reported to have voted twice, five absentee/mail-in ballots were improperly counted, and four votes were cast by felons unqualified to vote.

Judge Bleich emphasized the impossibility of determining the election’s outcome, especially considering the narrow one-vote difference.

“Just one vote could have affected the outcome, and here, multiple illegal votes were cast and counted,” he said.

The earliest a new runoff election can be conducted is March 23. However, this decision is expected to face an appeal, with the next steps involving the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal and potentially reaching the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Despite Whitehorn’s firm stance on his slim victory and counter-arguments against Nickelson’s allegations, Judge Bleich dismissed all of Whitehorn’s defenses. The judge pointed out that the evidence presented during the hearing on November 27, spanning double voting, interdiction, and absentee/mail-in ballot irregularities, rendered the election results legally indeterminable.

“We are humbled and so grateful that the Court ruled in favor of our challenge. The Court’s ruling is a victory for election integrity, and we should all be confident that in March the voters of Caddo Parish will make their voices heard definitively on who should be the next Sheriff of our parish. I plan to work doubly hard to make sure that every voter knows why our vision for Caddo Parish as a safer, stronger community is worthy of their vote,” Nickelson said in a statement following the victory.

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

You can email Jim Hᴏft here, and read more of Jim Hᴏft's articles here.

 

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