Hill’s attorney makes request for pretrial conference

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2005

GREENSBORO-With the examinations of the ballots from last year’s Greensboro Mayor’s race complete the next step will be a pretrial conference. Challenger Vanessa Hill’s attorney Walter Braswell made his official requests for the hearing recently.

Braswell has asked that a pretrial conference be set to consider the following matters:

The absence of certain election documents, to wit: Ballot Accounting Certificate; Voter List; Absentee Vote List (list of applicants returning ballots); “Late” Absentee Ballots and “Spoiled” Ballots.”

Email newsletter signup

In Braswell’s Aug. 9 request Braswell questioned the way some of the ballots were handled.

“Election officer is required to maintain each of these items, but none of them were found in the materials ordered produced by this court,” Braswell said. “At least one of the boxes containing election materials was already “unsealed” at the time of initial inspection.

No explanation of this was offered by the prior custodians and it was represented by the State Agent delivering the materials that the box in question was already open at the time he took possession pursuant to the order of this court.”

Braswell also requested copies of documents pertaining to absentee ballots that were considered suspect during the Montgomery examination.

“It would aid in the preparation for presentation of evidence to be allowed to make copies of Affidavits, Applications and “Identification” for those voters identified as “suspect,” Braswell said. “This would allow for the collating of these various materials into a single “exhibit” for each such voter, thus making for an efficient review of the pertinent documents.”

Braswell added having these documents in place prior to the trial would save everyone a great deal of trouble.

“It would be time consuming and a burden on the court to do this collating during actual trial of the cause,” Braswell said. “It would also be of assistance to both counsel to have copies of these documents to refer to, rather than both counsel and court being restricted to use of a single “original.”

Braswell also said a method could be ordered whereby there would be assurance that the copies obtained were authentic, accurate and complete.

Braswell also requested guidance on how the court wishes to have evidence presented, the use of any expert (whether court-appointed or retained by counsel), the acceptability of affidavits or need for live witnesses where only a single point is in contention and whether any additional discovery is desired or warranted.

Braswell said these are the matters, which both counsel have discussed and failed to reach consensus upon.