Date set in Hale mayoral dispute

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

GREENSBORO-Montgomery County Circuit Judge William Shashy has set a Dec. 16 meeting regarding the contest of the 2004 Greensboro mayor’s contest. However, neither side is sure of the agenda for the meeting.

Attorney Walter Braswell, who is representing challenger Vanessa Hill, requested a pretrial hearing in August to discuss which ballots were in question.

“We wanted to look at all the documents at once and go through them before the trial,” Braswell said. “If we don’t do that until the trial begins, it can be a very lengthy process.”

Email newsletter signup

Neither side is sure if the December meeting will be used as the requested conference or simply an announcement on a trial date.

Because there are three parts to each ballot, Braswell said there would be thousands of documents involved.

“When you are looking at ballots there are applications, affidavits and the ballots themselves,” Braswell said. “There are three documents for every absentee vote so we could be looking at literally thousands of them.”

Washington could not be reached for comment.

The idea for the pretrial conference was to look over these documents before the trial.

August saw the first phase of the challenge issued by Hill on the election of current mayor Johnny B. Washington when both sides concluded their examinations of the ballots. This examination was conducted for a month.

Claims by each side explaining why they felt a vote should, or should not count were submitted by Aug. 10, which was the deadline set by Shashy.

On Aug. 9, Braswell made a request for a pretrial conference to discuss the absence of certain election documents including: Ballot Accounting Certificate, which are documents that inspectors must complete and sign; Voter Lists, which give a list of every qualified voter in each district; Absentee Voter Lists, which rundown everyone who applied for absentee ballots prior to the election; “Late” Absentee Ballots, which are absentee ballots that arrived in the mail after the established deadline and “Spoiled” Ballots, which are ballots that are thrown out because they were not properly cast.

Copies of documents pertaining to the absentee ballots considered suspect during the Montgomery investigation were also requested.

Braswell said he would resubmit his request for a pretrial conference.