Candidate petitions court to invalidate, rerun election for flood district seat

A petition has been filed in District Court calling for a special election for a commissioner seat on the West Side Flood Control and Drainage District.

The election was on the May 5 ballot and incumbent Nicky Putnam was seeking reelection. She was unseated by Scott Lankford by 29 votes.

In her complaint, Putnam alleges that election was invalid because ballots were sent to all residents of the district instead of only those owning property in the district, as required by law.

The elections office had interpreted the law to include all registered voters in the district, according to Rina Moore, county clerk and recorder.

According to the petition, 830 ballots were mailed and 482 were returned. Only 519 ballots should have been sent to those owning property in the district, according to the complaint.

Putnam notified the Cascade County Elections Office of the error on May 11 and the elections office asked County Attorney Josh Racki’s office for an opinion.

In their June 18 letter to the elections office, the county attorney’s office stated, “based upon election privacy laws, it is not possible at this time after the election to screen out the votes case by ineligible and unqualified voters to determine which voters were case by eligible and qualified individuals versus voters which were not,” according to the petition.

In her petition, Putnam asks the court to declare the election void and if that happens, the county has 85 days after the ruling to redo the election for that seat.