Election Contest Hearing Postponed

Election Contest Hearing Postponed

It had been scheduled Monday but, instead, has been delayed until October 28 before Houston County Circuit Judge Butch Binford.
A hearing regarding whether a challenge to a recent Dothan election was legally filed has been postponed. It had been scheduled Monday but, instead, has been delayed until October 28 before Houston County Circuit Judge Butch Binford.
In his order, Binford said the hearing was postponed on agreement of all parties involved. No other explanation was given.
At issue is whether absentee ballots were cast illegally in the District Two election and, if so, if those votes altered the outcome. Results from the municipal election held August 6 showed Newsome defeating challenger Lamesa Danzey by 14 votes. Among absentee ballots cast, Newsome received 119 votes to Danzey’s five.

Danzey, a few days later, filed a lawsuit challenging the results claiming some absentee votes were cast illegally. She filed the action August 19; six days after results were certified by Dothan commissioners including Newsome.

In a court document filed by Newsome’s attorney, Joel Williams, claims under Alabama law Danzey had only five days to challenge the results. The law reads “Any contest of such an election must be commenced within five days after the result of the election is declared.” However, it’s not clear if that is business days or all days.

The hearing before Binford next week is expected to only deal with whether the challenge should be dismissed because it was filed within the time allotted under state law.

Meanwhile, findings from a criminal investigation into absentee ballots cast in the District Two race are now in the hands of District Attorney Doug Valeska.

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