A federal judge said today he's willing to consider failed Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai's allegation that the state destroyed one million ballots to deprive him of his allegedly rightful place on the November ballot, but, no, he's not going to issue an emergency court order to bar the state from certifying the final results of both the September primary and the November general election.
The ruling comes in what is now Ayyadurai's second pro-se suit against Secretary of State William Galvin.
In the first, in which Ayyadurai is now seeking several hundred million dollars in damages - down from the $1.2 billion he originally sought - because Galvin's minions allegedly used their control over Twitter to get the platform to ban him for several weeks after he insisted on tweeting allegations about Galvin destroying ballots. At a hearing last month, US District Court Judge Mark Wolf said Ayyadurai presented enough evidence to at least consider whether the state impermissibly tried to stomp on Ayyadurai's First Amendment rights.
Galvin's office has denied the allegations, saying the state specifically does not take photos of ballots, all of which are safely sealed away now.
In the newer suit, filed after the November election, Ayyadurai sued specifically over that alleged destruction of ballots, or more specifically, images of actual ballots that he claims would prove his case that he should have been on the November ballot as the Republican candidate, rather than the guy who beat him in September. In the newer suit, filed Nov. 20, he was seeking an injunction to keep the state from certifying the results of both the September primary and the November final election, in which he ran a write-in campaign until he could make his case.
But in an order today, Wolf said you can't bring a suit like this without providing proof you actually served the person you're suing with a copy - and that you tried to work the matter out first, and Ayyadurai failed to do that. Wolf wrote that this failure is particularly egregious because he specifically told Ayyadurai that during the hearing last month on the first case - and that this was not something he could just wave away just because he fired his lawyer and decided to continue the suit by himself.
Wolf added that Ayyadurai - who in addition to this year's two losing efforts, also failed in a bid to unseat Elizabeth Warren two years ago - didn't even provide any proof that the Secretary of State's office will actually certify results next week.
And citing one of the many failed election suits brought by the failed Trump campaign and its allies, specifically, to try to invalidate certain ballots in Houston, Wolf continued that Ayyadurai needs to not dilly dally when it comes to such important matters as election scheduling.
Wolf said the time to question the September results would have been September, not November. And even with the Nov. 3 ballot, Ayyadurai seems to have waited too long to file his complaint, on Nov. 20, Wolf said.
So no injunction, doc. Instead, Wolf ordered him to serve Galvin's office with a copy of the complaint and to try to at least show they talked about whether there's a possible settlement.
Only then, and assuming the state tells him no deal, could Ayyadurai submit an affidavit trying to support the claims he's made and formally request an injunction.
Judge's complete order (236k PDF).
Ayyadurai's new complaint (2.8M PDF).