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News Maryland Sun Investigates

Federal inmate who challenged Obama in W. Va. tried to get on Md. ballot

Keith Russell Judd, better known as the federal inmate who scored 41 percent of the vote against President Barack Obama in the West Virginia primary, wanted to be on the ballot in Maryland, too.

Without Judd in his path, Obama cruised to an 88 percent victory. Blame U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett, who last year dismissed Judd's complaint against the Maryland State Board of Elections in which he alleged he was being wrongly kept on the ballot.

Bennett referred to Judd, who is serving a 210-month sentence in a Texas federal prison for extortion, as a "prolific and vexatious litigant who has filed more than 748 cases in federal courts since 1997." Restrictions or sanctions have been placed on Judd's "abusive filings," Bennett wrote, by at least six courts.

He concluded Judd's claims were "frivolous and a patent ruse to waste judicial time and resources."

Judd said in his complaint that he’s tried to get on the ballot in Maryland many times since the 1990s. Election records show he was successful in 1996, landing on the general election ballot here as an independent. He received 17 votes - all of them in Worcester County.

Undeterred, Judd in February filed a new document with the court, entered into the docket as "Game-over Economics." It's not a legal brief or motion but a screed, in which he decries the current economic state of the country, including use of electronic money and lamenting a class struggle being won by the wealthy.

"When Wall Street went bankrupt, the federal government took multi-billions of tax payers' dollars to bail out wall street, so that banks would have money to loan out so that the tax payers have money to spend to keep the economy going. This economy works only on borrowed money. This is economic slavery."

According to news reports, Judd paid a $2,500 filing fee and submitted a notarized "certificate of announcement" to get on the West Virginia ballot. He's also qualified now to have a delegate at the Democratic National Convention.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Republicans are having a "field day" with Judd's result. "Just how unpopular does someone have to be for this to happen?" said the deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee.

Below, you can find Judd's court filing and Bennett's opinion:

Court filing of Keith Judd in attempt to run for president in Md. (PDF)
Court filing of Keith Judd in attempt to run for president in Md. (Text)

Judge's decision keeping inmate Keith Judd off of the Maryland ballot (PDF)
Judge's decision keeping inmate Keith Judd off of the Maryland ballot (Text)

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