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Heard lawsuit claims elections office used flawed numbers

By   /   August 29, 2012  /   Comments Off

Staff Reports

Reverend Lorenzo Heard isn’t quite done with the Dougherty County Board of Elections.  After the board voted unanimously to deny Heard a spot on the ballot, he’s filed a lawsuit.  Beyond what has already been laid out, Heard’s attorney claims that the elections office used flawed numbers for registered voters, arguing that elections supervisor Ginger Nickerson and her staff should have used the 2008 general election numbers rather than current voter registration data.

“There were 46,000 registered voters in Dougherty County in 2008, they should not have used the 59,000 they are currently using,” Henry Williams, who is serving as Heard’s lawyer in the matter, said at a press conference yesterday evening. “If the starting basis is flawed then the requisite number of signatures is also flawed.”

What’s more, it looks like Williams has a point.  Georgia Elections Code 21-2-32 Section h, subsection 1 states:

A qualifying petition of a candidate seeking an office which is voted upon state wide shall be signed by a number of voters equal to one-fourth of 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. A qualifying petition of a candidate for any other office shall be signed by a number of voters equal to 1 percent of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the filling of the office the candidate is seeking and the signers of such petition shall be registered and eligible to vote in the election at which such candidate seeks to be elected. [Emphasis added]

However, as with Heard’s last stand, it’s not that cut and dried.  After all, Heard was alleged to have submitted a copy of his Notice of Candidacy, that was reported later to have actually been an original.  Heard’s agent apparently didn’t know whether he was carrying a copy or an original, and left.  The document was dated and time stamped.  Where is it now?  Heard reports that it was shredded, which makes it impossible to determine if it was an original document or not.

Heard’s latest move is infuriating many in the community, who believe this to just be a power grab by Heard who simply doesn’t want to see Dr. Lane Price on the Dougherty County Board of Education.  Others have argued that this is simply a waste of taxpayer money.

The case is expected to move quickly due to the November election.

 

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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