Some absentees examined in District 6 case

Published 9:17 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

A Lanett judge wouldn’t reveal how any particular individuals in the Pike County District 6 election voted, but 40 absentee ballots were examined in court Monday.

At the request of plaintiff Oren Fannin, who is disputing how votes were obtained in favor of his Pike County Commission opponent Karen Berry, 40 absentee ballots were reviewed by Judge Joel Holley in court.

Fannin’s request came to examine those ballots, but at a motion from Berry’s attorney Frank Ralph to protect “integrity of the ballots,” Holley did not give any names or how individuals voted.

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The majority of the ballots in question had votes cast for Berry, with just one being for Fannin.

Holley said even though he did not say how the residents voted, Fannin’s attorney Joel Lee Williams seemed to know who the individual was that voted for his client.

Williams now will have a week to file the allegations with the Pike County Circuit Court, though he has made evident some of the dispute deals with absentees.

Holley said he is unsure exactly how evidence will be presented in court by Williams April 22.

“If he’s alleging some were improper, he would have to subpoena those people,” Holley said. “That’s his burden.”

The contest comes after Fannin alleged Berry had “illegal votes,” without which she would not have the majority.