Court proceedings on accusations of voter fraud in the recent election for the Monroe City Council District Three seat are underway.
John Settle, Jr., the attorney for Betty Blakes, says,”Cases like this are always time sensitive. They are also very much documentation and witness testimony about what they observed in the polls or not.”
This case involves about 500 pages of voter information from the Registrar of Voters Office provided to both sides.
Settle says, “Primarily, we are focusing on the time period between the initial election or primary and the general election and the number of people that registered to vote in that time.”
According to the complaint, Blakes say some voters were using false addresses and some people were campaigning for Woods at the polling locations. Blakes’ lawyer says the documents show at least one time when this happened.
“We have one reported incident which was actually investigated by the clerk of court which was an election violation,” says Settle.
Settle says if the case goes their way, they would then need to prove it changed the outcome of the election.
He says, “Our challenge is a 181 vote difference, so if he only finds five votes were thrown due to the problem that would not be determinative.”
If it’s proven the results of the election were changed due to problems, Settle says it would be up to the judge to decide how to fix the situation.
“The judge could order that they be re-voting in one precinct or the entire election be thrown out and they would have to have another election,” says Settle.
Juanita Woods was in court, but did not wish to comment on the case.
The judge decided just over a week would be needed for both sides to review the large number of documents.
The trial is in recess until May 2nd when the case is set to be presented in full.