Absentee ballot investigation possible, not ongoing

Published 9:43 am Friday, April 27, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

There appears to be no current investigation into absentee ballots cast in Lowndes County’s Democratic and Republican Primary Runoff Elections, based upon information from the Secretary of State’s Office.

“There have been no official reports of absentee ballot voter fraud in Lowndes County for the primary runoff election held April 24th,” said Secretary of State Beth Chapman. “However, 1,427 absentee ballots in any county of that size certainly draws attention to itself.”

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Chapman was contacted for comment as to whether there is or is not an investigation concerning the absentee ballots cast in the runoff elections held Tuesday, April 24.

When pressed for a definitive answer, Deputy Secretary of State Emily Thompson responded, “If we receive an official complaint we would work with the Attorney General’s office for their further review. We have received no official complaint.”

There were 1,247 absentee ballots cast in the runoff including 387 for challenger Carnell McAlpine and 417 for incumbent Charlie King Jr. in the Democratic District Two Lowndes County Commission race; 710 for incumbent Adrian D. Johnson and 533 for Debra “Caldwell” Bush in the Democratic Lowndes County District Court Judge’s race; and one for Chip Brown to none for Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the Republic President of the Public Service Commission Race.

McAlpine defeated King 835 to 781 and Johnson defeated Bush 2,409 to 1,865. Cavanaugh had 39 votes in Lowndes County to 16 for Brown in the public service commission race.

The Signal attempted to contact Circuit Court Clerk Ruby Jones-Thomas and Probate Judge John E. Hulett, who were both unavailable.