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April 2020 Townes v. Virginia Board of Elections

Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court of Virginia

Release Date: 06/02/2020

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Granted Appeal Summary


Case

HERBERT F. TOWNES, JR., ET AL. v. VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Record Number 190834)

From

The Circuit Court of the City of Hopewell; W. Tomko, Judge.

Counsel

W. Barry Montgomery and W. Andrew Webb (Kalbaugh Pfund & Messersmith, P.C.) for appellants.

Heather Hays Lockerman (Office of the Attorney General) for appellee.


Assignments of Error


1. The Circuit Court erred when it instructed the jury that the Commonwealth’s burden of proof was a showing by the preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing evidence.

2. The Circuit Court erred in allowing the Commonwealth to expand its grounds for removal of the respondents beyond the grounds pled in its sworn Petition for Removal of Appointed Officer.

3. The Circuit Court abused its discretion and erred excluding various defense evidence including: training and education of the respondents; the 2018 Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report regarding the Operations and Performance of Virginia’s Department of Elections; the 2016 Report from the General Registrar/Electoral Board Working Group; and political party affiliation of witnesses.

http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/appeals/190834.pd