Virginia's Republican and Democratic parties yesterday settled their quarrel over the use of sophisticated computer-prepared lists of voters following a day-long series of conferences in Northern Virginia and Richmond.
In an agreement worked out late yesterday in Alexandria, the Republicans and Virginia Computer Services, Inc., of Haymarket, Va., asked U.S. District Court Judge Oren R. Lewis to drop a temporary restraining order he had imposed earlier on an Alexandria computer firm working for the Democrats.
Lewis signed the restraining order Thursday after the Republicans claimed they would suffer "irreparable harm" if the Democrats were allowed to use lists the GOP claimed to have developed.
At issue was a computer program to prepare names and addresses of registered voters in Virginia's 10 congressional distrists. The information was drawn from public records,but had been programmed for the Republicans by the Haymarket computer company.
The list was shared with the VSE Corp. of Alexandria, which had both political parties as clients. The disputed program involved both a process for eliminating duplication of voters' addresses and a physical layout design of the information.
Under the agreement, voter lists from six highly populated districts will be released to the Democrats without the use of the special computer program, according to a GOP attorney. The lists for four rural districts, which the Democrats already possess, will be returned and revised without the special layout feature.
Attorneys for each side stood by at a Richmond Circuit Court yesterday, prepared to argue a request for a temporary restraining order in case efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement in Alexandria failed.