Thursday, October 5, 2006

Judge Dismisses Election Suit

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2006 at 4:00 AM

It took a while, but after hearing several days of testimony in the Shelby County election-challenge suit, special presiding judge Donald P. Harris of Franklin granted defendants' motion for dismissal in Chancery Court on Thursday, making happy four Republican clerks whose election was challenged by their Democratic opponents.

In his ruling, Judge Harris suggested that the local election "system" could stand revision but said there was insufficient evidence to alter the narrow election victories of (l to r) Criminal Court clerk Bill Key, Probate Court clerk Chris Thomas, Juvenile Court clerk Steve Stamson, and Shelby County clerk Debbie Stamson. They were challenged, respectively, by Vernon Johnson, Sondra Becton, Shep Wilbun, and Otis Jackson.

Harris ruled that garbled ID numbers and alternate addesses for several hundred voters were not by themselves grounds for continuing the litigation.

One bystander, State Rep. Ulysses Jones, commented wryly, "What's the difference between several hundred and 13?" His reference was to the number of disqualified votes that resulted in the voiding of last year's special election in state Senate District 29.


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