Greensboro vote inspection continues

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

MONTGOMERY-The inspection of challenged ballots from the 2004 Greensboro Mayor’s race will last at least one more session. Groups on both sides gathered again Tuesday in Montgomery to continue a review of absentee ballots cast in last fall’s election.

The review is the result of a contest by mayoral candidate Vanessa Hill who was defeated by current Mayor Johnny B. Washington by less than 100 votes. Hill has challenged the legality of 186 absentee ballots cast in the election. If the ballots were eventually overturned the result of the entire race would be changed.

Hill’s attorney Walter E. Braswell said this week’s session was very similar to last week.

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“It was a continuation of last time,” Braswell said. “We took a look at more documents and compared some things. We will probably finish up next Tuesday.”

Unfortunately, there was not as much time as last week. Both sides were forced to call it a day earlier than last week so that city council members could make their meetings.

Next time is expected to be a different story.

Jim Anderson, who has been appointed special master for the process, said next time they would stay as long as they could.

Braswell said though they were in session for a shorter period of time they were more efficient. He expected this to be the case next Tuesday as well.

“Things are going a lot faster,” Braswell said. “I think it will get even faster as we are seeing what information to look for and what we need to do.”

Braswell said once the ballots have been reviewed it will only be phase one of the challenge. A court date will follow which could lengthen the challenge a lot further.

The parties are expected to return to Anderson’s office at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 2 to continue the inspection.