So It Begins....
In case you didn’t know, there was a special election here in Lumberton on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought for once that there would be an honest campaign and I could rely on the integrity of the poll workers. Well, I was wrong on both accounts. Now, let me preface this by saying that all the women can ‘t be considered guilty by association but the it’s clear that something in the buttermilk wasn’t clean. When I entered the precinct to vote, I had to look around and step back for a minute. Wait. Why is this team of poll workers not more diverse and why is the city clerk sitting behind them mean mugging everyone that came in the building. At that time, I should have known to call a few friends and ask them to serve as poll watchers but I shrugged it off because I trusted Ms. Linda. Anywho, as the day progresses, I was receiving calls/texts saying how the poll workers were saying they couldn’t read their identification, telling others that they didn’t need identification and running the affidavit ballots back and forth to the table where Merlene was perched. Again, I tried to remain optimistic and hopeful that nothing untoward was taking place. Well, around 4:30, I get a visitor and she hands me a torn affidavit ballot that was found in the trash can at the voter precinct. Well, finally, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
Why would an affidavit ballot be torn and placed in the trash in the women’s restroom? By then, a friend from Hattiesburg was at the polls and she and another person was trying to figure out why was Cora Rogers telling her mother not to vote for me when her mother specifically told her she wanted to vote for me. I asked a few questions and now I have that witness statement. Unfortunately, it gets worse from here. Moments before the polls closed, I was talking to a woman that was told she had to leave the polling station because she was not a poll watcher. Earlier that day, my poll watcher was interrogated about her presence while others were not. More questions arose when it came to the counting of the ballots. As they called out the ballots, it seemed that all the affidavit ballots, minus one, were for Kent Crider. It was said that there were 13 absentee ballots. I wanted to be present for the opening of those ballots but when I went to city hall the next morning, I was told that Merlene and the Elections Committee were in Jackson. Later I found out that they were in the former records room at city hall but I was not allowed to be present for the count.
That morning, I also asked for a copy of the voter signature sheet and was told that I couldn’t get a copy until Monday. Yesterday, I posted a photo of the torn affidavit ballot and there was some saying it was much to do about nothing. Mary Salter stated on Facebook that she made the decision to tear up the ballot because the address was not legible but it looked pretty legible to everyone that saw it on Facebook. Well, based on the information that was listed on the torn affidavit ballot, I went to the Chancery Clerk building to see if the person was a registered voter for Lumberton. While there, I looked up the name on the torn affidavit ballot and the person’s address (based on the records on file) is 45 West Lake Road, Hattiesburg, MS. Well, since I’m so inquisitive, I left, entered the address into Mapquest and took a ride buy the property. Guess what, there’s some old cars in the yard and the house looks vacant. Sounds very similar to the claims made in the highly contested Hattiesburg mayoral race. Didn’t WDAM run several stories about people that voted in Hattiesburg but had homestead exemptions elsewhere? People were saying that I was blowing this one ballot out of proportion but if one vote is compromised, then the entire election is compromised. I heard that Kent Crider is going around declaring he’s the victor but Merlene announced after the election that there will be a run-off election because no one garnered 50% plus 1. Surely she know what she’s talking about because the City of Lumberton just footed a bill for her to get trained for this Special Election on December 8, 2015 and it included an overnight stay at a Jackson hotel. It was also stated in the Hattiesburg American, on WDAM and WHLT. We shall see how this goes. At first, I was going to withdraw my name and let Kent Crider be declared the victor but when I realized they were trying to STEAL the ELECTION, I decided that I owed to the ones that got out and voted for me to stay in this fight. If they steal this election, they’re going to have to do it in the open. So, they can either set the date for the run-off election or I can continue working on the papers to file in court. Winners never quit and quitters never win. I’m going to #MoveLumbertonForward even if they’re kicking and screaming.