(Franklin) — The honorable Judge William H. Ison of Jonesboro heard testimonies this morning at the Heard County Courthouse in case involving the challenge of the May 20, 2014 Republican primary election results by District 5 incumbent Commissioner Sandi Allen.
Judge Ison ruled in favor of Allen meaning a special runoff election will be held between her and Republican opponent Joe Adams. He did not set a date or time for this election instead allowing several days for both attorneys to come up with a mutual agreement on the details of the special election.
Allen was represented in court this morning by David Taylor from Newnan while Heard County Probate Judge/ Election Superintendent Joseph Bledsoe was represented by David Mecklin from Carrollton. Bledsoe had originally certified the election on May 23 and declared Adams the winner.
The topic of the hearing revolved around one voter in District 5 that had received a provisional ballot on the morning of the May 20 election for the wrong district after he or she had showed up at the Southwest Precinct to vote when their voting precinct had been changed to Franklin.
After poll workers advised the voter that morning of them being in the wrong precinct the voter complained that they would not be able to drive to Franklin due to work to place their vote at the correct precinct.
The poll worker then gave the voter the wrong ballot instead handing out a ballot for District 3. The poll worker also did not observe election protocols and call the registrar’s office to verify the voter’s correct precinct before giving out the wrong ballot.
Adams seemed to avoid a runoff on May 20 by just a single vote after the ballots were originally counted in the election involving three candidates. Adams received 111 votes while Allen received 102 and Yvette Abrahamson received eight votes.
A candidate is required to receive 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff meaning had the voter voted for either Allen or Abrahamson, a runoff would have been forced.
After hearing all of the evidence Judge Ison made his decision. “I want to err on the side of what’s best for the public,” said Judge Ison. It remains unclear when the special election will take place.
“My main concern is that this remains a Republican runoff — I just don’t want Democrats crossing over to vote during the general election,” said Joe Adams. “All I can do is get out and keep working. She didn’t get enough votes the first time and I don’t believe she will this time. She is the incumbent — if she was doing her job she should have blown me away the first time.”
Allen was happy about the decision being ruled in her favor. “I just want to thank the judge for making the decision he thinks best for the people of Heard County,” said Allen. “I think justice has been served and that was the right thing to do.”
Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information as it becomes available.