In a ruling published yesterday, PWCRC Chairman Tom Kopko in his role as the sole member of the 51st District Legislative Committee, denied the appeal by Julie Lucas of the 51st District Convention which happened on June 2nd. About the only surprise here is that he didn’t wait until November 5th to publish his ruling, but by delaying more than two months the outcome is pretty much the same. There really isn’t any time left for Julie Lucas to continue the appeals process and have time to mount a campaign against Democratic nominee Paul Nichols even if the results of the convention were overturned.
Kopko’s decision here essentially argues that it is inconsistent with Robert’s Rules and the Republican Party Plan for anyone to challenge a convention result after the convention ends. In effect, if you can rig the result of a convention and manage to hide the details of the subterfuge long enough to have a convention gavel a convention to a close, there’s no recourse. That’s quite a concept. Now that this policy has been sufficiently explained to us, I’m sure we’ll all have a lot more confidence in the legitimacy of Republicans nominated in conventions in Virginia.
His second point is that when overvotes occur, as long as there’s any basis to claim that the overvotes would not have changed the result, you can’t throw out overvoted precincts. What’s fascinating about this is that two RPV officials were contacted about the proper means of handling overvotes advised the exact opposite approach — that any overvoted precincts should be thrown out since there’s really no way to determine what the actual vote was, and if the overvoting was the result of more extensive irregularities. It’s possible that Tom Kopko’s grasp of Robert’s Rules and the RPV plan are superior to that of the RPV, but I’d consider that pretty unlikely.
Best of all is Kopko’s decision to allow a mathematical error to stand. There weren’t actual overvotes in three precincts, but in two. The total number of credentialed delegates in the Civic Center Precinct was incorrectly recorded, leading to that precinct being identified as an overvoted precinct when it was not. Knowingly allowing an obvious error to stand demonstrates pretty clearly that the purpose here wasn’t to ensure that the results of this convention were accurately recorded, but that the result was consistent with the pre-determined outcome Kopko clearly wanted to obtain.
At least Kopko remembered to have Faisal Gill leave the signature block on this decision blank so he could sign it.
UPDATE: NLS sums it up pretty well:
This is disgusting, and we obviously need new election laws to make sure this never happens again.
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