Fields still 3 votes shy of Knox
Published 12:00 am Friday, June 11, 2004
GREENSBORO-Will the real Akron voters in Hale County Commission District Two please stand up?
Hale County Commissioner Lois Fields challenged the June 2 election results Wednesday with the Hale County Democratic Party and the U.S. Justice Department.
She said she filed the contest with the Hale County Democratic Party chairman Robert Shepard on Wednesday and now the ball is in his court. She also said he has 10 days to setup a sub committee that will rule on this matter.
“No matter win or lose, I plan to see this matter through,” Fields said.
She said she has already hired an attorney, April England-Albright who will act as council through these tough days ahead in trying to uncover the truth in Akron.
Shepard said the next step in this race would be for him to setup a sub committee of five members of the Democratic Party with in the next ten days. He also said this committee will listen to both sides of the argument and then make a ruling on the matter at hand.
“They can declare a winner or they can ask for the primary to be redone,” Shepard said.
Elijah Knox who was victorious in the election by a vote count of 711-600 over Fields sees this as an open and shut case.
“Well all I know is that I’m the winner, and the people have spoken,” Knox said.
When told about Hale County Circuit Clerk Gay Nell Tinker’s findings that 108 people received the wrong ballots in the clerk’s list that was highlighted after the voters in Akron voted, he said, “He had no comment.”
Hale County Probate Judge Leland Avery said depending on what is ruled by the sub committee, either said can then appeal to the State.
“All of this is in the hands of the Democratic Party now,” Avery said.
Fields called a special press conference on Wednesday to announce her intentions to possibly contest the results from the June 2 election. She, along with U.S. Representative Bobby Singleton stated their case as to why they felt the election results were wrong.
“We have concerns about the number of voters in Akron that voted in Lois Field’s district race,” Singleton said.
He said 252 people that lived in Akron voted, 218 for Knox and 34 for Fields in the Hale County Commissioner District two election on June 2. He also said of those 252 people, they have already found 84 people that should not have voted on the district two ballots.
Tinker said this is just like 2000 elections all over again. She also said when the votes were turned into four envelopes containing the different lists were turned in also.
“I went up to the courtroom, which has been locked since the day after elections were held to get the votes,” Tinker said, “But when I got inside the courtroom, I found two of the four envelopes laying opened in a chair.”
She said the two envelopes clearly state they are from Akron 2-2B, which are the districts in question by Fields and they are not to be open unless there is a contest of the election. She also said none of the stuff from Akron is here, not even the box containing the ballots.
“The box of ballots from Akron isn’t in the sheriff’s office,” Tinker said, “Its not in this courthouse.”