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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - Rep. Jim Sorvillo, R-Little Rock, sits in the House chamber during a meeting of the House caucus. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

An attorney for state Rep. Jim Sorvillo, R-Little Rock, asked the Arkansas Supreme Court Tuesday to voluntarily dismiss the lawmaker's appeal of a lawsuit contesting his loss in the House District 32 election, after Sorvillo filed a similar challenge in the Arkansas State Claims Commission last week.

In a motion filed with the high court Tuesday, Sorvillo's attorney A.J. Kelly cited "a number of events that have taken place" since the lawsuit was filed earlier this month, which made the relief sought by Sorvillo moot.

Sorvillo had sought to stop the Pulaski County Election Commission from certifying the results of the race showing Democrat Ashley Hudson with a 24-vote lead over Sorvillo. That lawsuit was dismissed by Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen for lack of jurisdiction on Nov. 18, prompting the election commission to certify the results later the same day.

Sorvillo then appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, hoping to stop Secretary of State John Thurston from declaring Hudson the winner.

The basis for Sorvillo's challenge to the election is a batch of 372 disqualified ballots that were erroneously mixed in with other, valid ballots and counted by county election workers. As many as 32 of those disqualified ballots were cast in House District 32, more than Hudson's margin of victory. Sorvillo and Kelly have argued that the mix-up irreparably taints the results of the House election, and that a new special election should be called.

Hudson, however, has argued that the disqualified ballots were unlikely to have changed the outcome of the race, and that they were legally-cast votes anyway and should be counted.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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