KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - An attorney claims she was elected Jackson County prosecuting attorney as a write-in candidate in November, but Missouri and the County Board of Election Commissioners refused to count the votes or certify her victory. The complaint turns on whether 2010 was the election year, under state law, or 2012, under county law.
Rachel Townsend says she filed her declaration of candidacy and paid her filing fee as a write-in candidate and that she and others voted for her on Nov. 2.
"(N)o other person filed or declared their candidacy in the 2010 general elections for the office of Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney," Townsend says in her complaint in Jackson County Court.
Townsend says Jackson County has a charter government that calls for election of a prosecuting attorney every 4 years beginning in 1972, which would make the election year 2012.
But in 1982, the Missouri General Assembly passed a law requiring the election of every county's prosecuting attorney every 4 years beginning in 1982, which made 2010 the election year for prosecuting attorney, Townsend says.
"There have been no amendments to the Missouri Constitution or statutes since 1982 authorizing Jackson County or its election authorities to conduct elections for prosecuting attorney other than as directed," by law, the complaint states.
The Missouri Secretary of State certified and made public the election results on Nov. 10, but "did not state who won the election for Prosecuting Attorney of Jackson County," the complaint states.
Townsend says the office of prosecuting attorney was not printed on the ballot, and write-in votes for prosecuting attorney were not counted; therefore those voters were disenfranchised and she is entitled to contest the election results.
Townsend seeks a recount and wants to be declared the winner of the election.
She is represented by Danieal Miller of Columbia, Mo.