Marion Mayor’s race trial enters second week

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2005

MARION-Week two of the Marion Mayor’s race contest began the same way as it ended last week. Once again, last year’s challenger, Robert Bryant was on the stand to review ballots from last year’s election and discuss the inconsistencies.

Jim Barnes, current Mayor Tony Long’s, attorney steadily went through absentee ballots from the race discussing the problems that the challenger had observed through their review.

The issues remained the same as many of the problems that had been seen during last week’s proceedings.

Once again the ballots sent to P.O. box 536 and 515 came into play. In other situations there were problems with signatures and with others there were both.

On several occasions when asked what may have been different with affidavits and applications Bryant’s response was the same.

“The signatures do not look that much alike,” Bryant said. Bryant would then point out that certain letters were written in different styles.

Barnes again countered several times by looking at the ages of some of the people who voted absentee. In many cases voters were in what Barnes referred to as their “golden years.” He also pointed out that at this age there could have been health issues that could have caused their handwriting to change from the time they filled out their applications to the time they actually cast their vote.

Monday’s proceedings were much like the proceedings of last week, which was to be expected. Both attorney’s pointed out this type of case was not a situation that could be rushed through. Both plan to look through as many votes as they see necessary t leave no stone unturned.

The trial will continue this morning at 9 a.m. as both sides try to move closer to proving their case.