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Judge sides with Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD; convenience voting to continue

By Christina Lane
May 9, 2011 at 10 p.m.

A federal judge on Monday ruled in favor of Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD, denying a temporary restraining order and confirming the district can offer evening convenience voting in its bond and trustee election.

"It is unfortunate that the school district had to use its funds to defend itself against this type of suit when schools across the state are facing major financial issues," interim Superintendent Sandra Quarles said Monday afternoon. "The school district has not done anything in violation of the law."

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Marshall federal court, demanded the district cancel evening convenience voting for the $28.8 million bond election and claimed the voting violated "state and federal election laws and breaches Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD's contractual obligations under the Joint Election Agreement entered into between (the district), the city of Daingerfield, the city of Lone Star, and Northeast Texas Community College."

The lawsuit was filed by Saundra Duke, Jay Dee Davis, Karl Stoermer, Charles Nichols and Marvin Carter - school district residents who said they are upset with how the election has been handled. In a letter from the residents' attorney, Rick Harrison, to Quarles, Harrison said under the terms of the joint election agreement, the district must hold all early voting at the J.D. Parrish Administration Building. The district has held evening convenience voting at Daingerfield High School and West Elementary School.

The only remaining date for evening convenience voting in the election was Monday night. The restraining order being denied confirmed the district could offer the voting, District Attorney Jay Youngblood said. Quarles said the district received pre-clearance from the Department of Justice for all of its early voting locations and hours, including the convenience voting.

"Everything related to the bond election has gone through the bond council and the Secretary of State's Office," she said.

Since the only request for relief was from the evening convenience voting, the lawsuit should be over, Youngblood said.

"On behalf of school district, we are very gratified that the court ruled as it did," he said. "We certainly believe the court was correct in its decision. Our position is that the school district has been following the law from Day 1 and the election has been conducted as it should have been under the law and as approved by the Department of Justice."



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