Attorneys for both candidates involved in a contested special election for an Oklahoma House of Representatives seat from Tulsa asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday to take the case. Democratic candidate Dan Arthrell, whose three-vote lead in this month’s election was overturned in a recount, said he asked the court to intervene. A court referee did not immediately issue a recommendation for whether the court would take the case. The filing comes after initial returns showed Arthrell defeating Republican Katie Henke by three votes in the April 3 special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Dan Sullivan. Henke then asked for a manual recount, which was held Tuesday. Arthrell received four fewer votes, resulting in a one-vote win for Henke. Shortly after the Tulsa County Election Board certified the results, two uncounted ballots — both for Arthrell — were found in a bin beneath an election machine.
“We’re asking the court to take the case and either count the two ballots or go back to the original machine count,” said Arthrell attorney Greg Bledsoe. “Our preferred result would be to count these ballots because every voter deserves to have his or her vote counted.”
Henke’s attorney, Robert Sartin, agreed that the case belongs before the state’s highest court. “The Oklahoma Supreme Court should assume original jurisdiction and stay all proceedings in this case and the Oklahoma Supreme Court should once and for all decide this case,” Sartin said.