RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal judge removed the McCain campaign as the plaintiff in a lawsuit that seeks to compel Virginia election officials to count late absentee ballots from U.S. troops serving outside the state.
The new plaintiff is the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams approved the department's motion to intervene in the case Monday and scheduled a hearing on the merits of the case for Dec. 8.
Republican John McCain's presidential campaign sued the State Board of Elections, claiming absentee ballots weren't mailed on time to military members outside Virginia. But Williams ruled that the campaign lacked standing to sue.
Williams previously ordered election officials to safeguard late-arriving absentee ballots until the case is decided.