Recount: Special Election Redux
This morning, I meet with the election commissioner, two poll workers at the city clerk at Lumberton's City Hall for a recount of the votes cast during the run-off election. I don't know if the matter helped but it's a necessary process in order to seek relief from a circuit court. When they came into the room I had to pinch myself because Merlene was being so polite. I guess she can only show her fangs in front of the board members that support her and the two clerks that accepts her behavior. I hope they didn't think I was going to sit there and go through all those ballots. The ballots I was concerned with were the ones that were not counted. There were several "spoiled" ballots that were not counted; one was questionable while the others were clearly marked "Jonathan F. Griffith" but were discarded because they had other marks on the ballots.
There were seven (7) affidavit votes that were never counted because they were told that the people voting either did not live within the city limits of Lumberton or were not registered to vote. In an interview with the Hattiesburg American, Crider said that the affidavit votes were not counted because the voters were felons. Since none of the people that were accused of being felons disputed the claims, their votes were not counted. It's hard enough to get people out to vote so image how difficult it is to get them to vote, go to city hall and probably make several calls to prove that they have the right to vote. In order to proceed, I had to get an account of those votes because they should have been counted since state law doesn’t expressly prohibit people from voting by affidavit in a new precinct if they fail to transfer their registration. The voters that were disenfranchised are residents of Lumberton and may have failed to transfer their registration but their vote should have counted. The sloppiness of this special election has led to concerns about fraud and that's why I'm fighting to ensure that every vote is counted. My next step is to see what happens with the appeals going on with the State Legislators in Jackson. The election disputes taking place in Jackson will give me ammunition I need to Move Forward with my case. Another matter I'm currently dealing with is the city clerk's refusal to give me a copy of the signature list for the special election. At this point, I'm going to let the attorneys at the Secretary of State explain the law to her regarding public records and I will keep you updated on that process.
After leaving city hall, I noticed there was a posting of a special call meeting for tonight. It seems they are going to sign the inter-local agreement with Lamar County for the volunteer fire department. There's also some changes that need approving for the CDBG grant and they need to establish a review committee for the grant by January 29, 2016 so paperwork can be submitted by February, 2016. It seems they're still looking for a way to keep from paying court clerk, Betty Speights. The notice said they need to establish an effective date to begin her increase in hours and pay. The night the board voted to increase her pay was the same night they voted to increase the pay of a Public Works employee but they specified that his pay raise was effective immediately. Why wouldn't they do the same for Speights? Also, I noticed they left off the name of Alderwoman Cora Rogers on the meeting notice. In her short time as Mayor Pro-Tempore, she managed to show everyone her true colors and left no doubt in our minds that she's not to be trusted. Interestingly, the powers that be (Kent Crider and Merlene Wall) are showing her that a token is only good for one ride and they've discarded her like a used condom (pun intended). I guess I will attend the meeting to keep you updated on the progression or regression of the city but if they take too long I'm leaving because I'm not missing NCIS.