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Rep. Mel Brown Tells the Supreme Court, "I'm dropping the Suit"

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utah.gov
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Rep. Mel Brown drops his law suit asking for a recount.

Attorneys for Rep. Mel Brown have informed the Utah Supreme Court that they are dropping their suit, asking to have disputed ballots counted in the House District 53 race that Brown lost by a razor-thin margin. Rich Brough has more.

The Supreme Court set an aggressive timeline for the case. On Monday afternoon, Brown's attorneys filed a motion saying, "While petitioner still believes he has a meritorious case, the restricted timeline imposed on this case renders further pursuit of this matter impossible."

When the final state canvass of the primary was complete, it showed Brown losing by nine votes to Morgan County Council chairman Logan Wilde.

The lieutenant governor's office has reported that some 64 mail-in ballots were disqualified because they were postmarked on the day of the election. However, Brown raised the possibility that many of the ballots were actually mailed the day before the election - meeting the legal requirement - but because they were mailed in rural areas of the District 53 they were shipped to Salt Lake and weren't postmarked until the next day.

Brown filed suit earlier this month asking that the ballots be counted.

The Tribune reports that at a hearing last week, the justices were concerned that there was no way to determine which ballots were mailed the day before the election. State representatives said the law is clear that legitimate ballots have to have a postmark before election day.

The notices from Bropwn's attorneys mean there's no dispute now that Wilde will be going on to November's election, running against Democrat Cole Capener, a Snyderville Basin resident.

Wilde told KPCW he had been prepared to make is case before the Supreme Court. He said he had retained attorney David Irvine to represent him.