May 17, 2013 12:00:11 PM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
Ward 2 alderman candidate Lisa Wynn is formally challenging the Starkville Municipal Democratic Executive Committee's Monday decision to reject at least one affidavit, Wynn's attorney Charles Yoste said Thursday.
Yoste said the complaint would be filed with the Democratic Party. That group, not the City of Starkville, was responsible for May 7's primary and subsequent Ward 2 affidavit processing.
The document in question was filed by an armed forces servicewoman who voted affidavit because she was not listed in her ward's poll book. The voter was present during Monday's processing session and told the committee she received bad instructions from poll workers during the election.
That affidavit and numerous others were successfully challenged by incumbent Sandra Sistrunk's attorney, Lydia Quarles, Tuesday.
Yoste said Wynn feels the voter's ballot was unfairly rejected and she was disenfranchised. A phone call placed to Wynn went unreturned Thursday night.
Chris Taylor, the local Democratic Party chairman and SMDEC member, said he was unaware of Wynn's challenge and said he believed the complaint should go to the state level.
Sistrunk held a two-vote lead after the May 7 primary, but 17 affidavits remained unprocessed last week. The Democratic election committee accepted only six ballots due to various issues, including voters' failure to record residency changes outside of the 30 days of the primary, missing names from the poll books and inaccurate information recorded on the documents.
The three-person committee accepted five of the six ballots with split 2-1 votes. Wynn collected four votes, while Sistrunk earned two. The two candidates ended tied at 181 votes.
A runoff election is scheduled for Tuesday. The Starkville City Clerk's office will remain open until noon Saturday for absentee voting.
Updates on this challenge will be posted to the @StarkDispatch Twitter account as they become available.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch