Judge Joe Bishop called an end to proceedings late Friday afternoon, but the question of what to do about the controversial Ward 2 race is still to be decided. Attorneys for Melissa Strother and Ivey Hines, as well as City Attorney Nathan Davis, asked plenty of questions, but little in the way of new information was learned.
One key component of today’s proceedings were whether signs were prominently displayed. Strother’s attorney, Bo Dorough, called forth campaign workers who held signs outside of various Ward 2 precincts. Each had entered their respective precincts and saw no signs. This was countered by Davis calling up the precinct manager from each Ward who expressed where the signs were placed.
Judge Bishop asked his own questions as well, asking election board officials if there were any discussions about running advertising in local media letting people know that Cheryl Calhoun was no longer a candidate.
Hines Attorney Maurice King asked election officials whether people had a right to vote for whoever they chose to vote for. In all cases, the answer was yes. King was alluding to Hines’ earlier assertion that votes for Calhoun were done consciously as a protest her treatment by the election board. However, no evidence was submitted that such a protest movement was afoot.
Indeed, the Journal has been unable to find any discussions of such a protest being underway. While it may be incredulous that such a movement would gather 259 supporters, almost 20 percent of the votes cast, without some discussion in local media that it would happen, it’s even harder for some to grasp that it would happen and no one would talk to Cheryl Calhoun about it. “I only had people say they saw my name on the ballot,” Calhoun said when asked if she had anyone tell her that there had been such an effort.
Despite the hours, a decision will most likely not be available until after the holidays.