Judge: Court doesn't have jurisdiction in recount

DALLAS (AP) - A judge asked to consider which votes should be counted in a recount of a state House race thinks higher courts should answer the questions.

State District Judge Jim Jordan in Dallas ruled that he had no jurisdiction. And that only an appellate court or the state Supreme Court should consider the House District 105 case.

Democrat Bob Romano requested the recount after incumbent Linda Harper-Brown's lead shrank to 20 votes.

At issue is straight-party voting on electronic machines.

Democratic Party attorneys contend the votes of people who cast a straight-party ballot on an electronic voting machine ---- and then "emphasized" by selecting a candidate from the same party---- should be counted.

Dallas County elections officials plan to begin recounting the votes on Monday using the most recent instructions from the Texas Secretary of State's Office. Those say deselected or emphasis votes from electronic machines should not be counted.

A win for Romano could threaten the re-election of Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick by giving Republicans and Democrats an equal number of House members.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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