AT-LARGE

Clemons out in 2-vote loss, says he will contest results

Posted
Leroy Clemons (D) Incumbent 50% | 670 votes
James Carson Waltman (R) 50% | 668 votes

Incumbent Democrat Alderman-at-Large Leroy Clemons will challenge his two-vote loss to Republican challenger James Carson Waltman after the final totals came in Wednesday morning.

After election officials tallied absentee and affidavit ballots, incumbent Clemons, with 668 votes, lost to challenger Waltman who had 670 votes.

Clemons said after Wednesday's totals that he will contest the results.

“If I had lost by a greater margin, I wouldn’t have said anything,” Clemons said. “But when losing by just two votes, I think I need to explore some things. We tossed out 17 affidavit ballots and I want to challenge how some of that was done. I think they were done wrong and the process was flawed.”

When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Waltman declined to comment on the election until after the results are certified. Officials have until June 18 to certify the election results.

Clemons said he believes people were being told by poll workers to vote in the wrong place.

“Before the election, I got a copy of the voter roll from City Hall,” Clemons said. “If people called and asked where they were supposed to vote, we would look their names up and tell them where to go.”

Clemons said when the voters in question showed up at the polls, the poll workers were unable to find their names at that precinct, and would send them to another. When their names were not on the roll at the other precinct, they would vote on an affidavit ballot. He said he was in contact at the time with several of those voters by phone.

Clemons said there were 24 affidavit ballots total, including 14 in Ward 4. He said 13 of the 14 were thrown out and most because they voted at the wrong precinct.

“When we got up there Wednesday, they were in the precinct we initially sent them to,” Clemons said.

Clemons said he plans to complete paperwork to protest the election and turn it in within 10 days. He said he is getting legal advice.

“I’m not being a sore loser but I think the way they went about that was wrong,” Clemons said. “I told Mr. Waltman I had no problems with him. There are things in the process that need to be addressed."

Precinct-by-Precinct For Alderman-At-Large

At-Large Clemons (D) Waltman (R)
Ward 1 68 233
Ward 2 78 293
Ward 3 133 100
Ward 4 383 41
Total* 662 667

* EDITOR'S NOTE: The ward-by-ward absentee and affidavit totals provided by the Election Commission Wednesday morning when totaled with the totals provided Tuesday night do not add up to the total votes provided in the alderman-at-large race Wednesday morning.

Election officials have not immediately responded to questions regarding the discrepancy in the vote totals. The Democrat will update the ward by ward totals as soon as they are available.


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