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Banko and others file suit against McGraw, Election Canvassing Board, and Supervisor of Elections

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Khanh-Lien Banko, who ran against Diyonne McGraw in the 2020 election for the District 2 school board seat, has filed suit against McGraw, the Election Canvassing Board for Alachua County, and Kim Barton, the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections. County residents Marlon Bruce, Thomas Cowart, and Richard McNeill are also plaintiffs in the suit. Banko is represented by Jeff Childers.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that McGraw’s seat on the school board is vacant because the address she gave as her residence is in District 4, not in District 2, and the law states that she must remain a resident of District 2 at all times while serving in that seat.

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McGraw has stated that the situation is “complicated” because the school board never redrew the boundaries of the districts after the 2010 census, and she has maintained that she does, in fact, live in District 2. But the lawsuit lays out evidence that the school board district boundaries have not changed since 2001 and that McGraw’s house has been in District 4 continuously since 2001.

The lawsuit goes on to request that the Court declare McGraw unqualified to hold the District 2 seat, declare a vacancy in that seat, declare that any vote made by McGraw since she began serving on the school board is void, enjoin her from casting any more votes or attending any more meetings as a school board member, and award attorney’s fees and costs to the plaintiffs. Emergency injunctive relief is requested to prevent McGraw from voting at school board meetings. The lawsuit was filed late this afternoon.

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