Judge Denies Grimes Lawsuit Over McConnell ‘Election Violation’ Mailer

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A Kentucky judge on Monday rejected a court motion filed by Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes seeking an immediate injunction to stop Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign from sending out mailers that have the appearance of an official Kentucky notice.

The mailers, reported Friday by TPM, read “ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE” and go on to warn voters that they may be acting on “fraudulent” information from the Grimes campaign. The tactic ultimately amounts to a creative attack on Grimes, although the mailers could create the impression that the voters who received them are at risk of committing voter fraud if they cast a ballot.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd denied the Grimes motion, spokespersons for the Grimes and McConnell campaigns confirmed on Monday.

Grimes is “exploring options” on what to do next, her spokesperson said.

With the hard-fought U.S. Senate election just one day away, it’s not clear that how much of an impact the lawsuit, filed Friday, would have had even if Grimes had won an injunction.

Election law expert Rick Hasen was unimpressed with the legal complaint.

“Some people might be confused by the flyer and maybe even think they are accused of some kind of elections code violation. But anyone who reads it will see it is clearly a nasty attack ad aimed at Grimes. Voters are not stupid nor so easily intimidated,” he wrote.

McConnell stood by the mailers on the campaign trail during the weekend, calling them “entirely factually accurate,” according to Tom Loftus of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Grimes campaign had blasted the mailers as a “despicable” attempt at voter suppression.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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