McCain campaign challenges Va. absentee ballots.

March 9, 2009 11:14:36 AM PDT
The U.S. Justice Department has replaced John McCain's presidential campaign as the plaintiff in a lawsuit demanding that Virginia election officials count late absentee ballots from military personnel serving outside the state. U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams ruled Monday that the Republican ticket lacked standing to sue and approved the Justice Department's motion to intervene. He scheduled a hearing in case for Dec. 8.

The McCain campaign sued the State Board of Elections on the day before the election, claiming absentee ballots were not mailed on time to military members outside Virginia.

The lawsuit claims a 1986 federal law requires that those absentee ballots be mailed at least 45 days before the election.