Hecht opponent sues to halt ballot printing

By Chuck Lindell | Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 09:57 AM

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht’s Democratic opponent has filed suit seeking to delay the printing of ballots and other election material to allow time to investigate potential problems with Hecht’s candidacy petitions.

Several unfilled blanks in petitions from the Fort Worth area could invalidate signatures, leaving Hecht short of support needed to be a legitimate candidate, said the lawsuit by San Antonio lawyer Michele Petty.

Statewide judicial candidates must collect signatures from 50 registered voters in each of the state’s 14 appeals court districts.

Petty’s lawsuit, filed Friday in Travis County District Court, said several Hecht petitions did not have three blanks filled out – showing the candidate’s name, office sought and place number – in the Spanish-language portion of the forms.

Petitions also included inaccurate affidavits and problems with notary forms, the lawsuit said.

To allow time to investigate election law, Petty’s lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing the Republican Party of Texas and Secretary of State Hope Andrade from printing election materials or ballots containing Hecht’s name.

“We’re going to be taking some statements regarding that. If we find out there are irregularities, we’ll let you know; if not, we’ll drop the case,” Petty said today.

The court had taken no action on the lawsuit as of this morning.

Hecht declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying he has not yet seen it.

Petty is the only Democrat running for the state’s highest civil court. Hecht is unopposed in the May 29 GOP primary.

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