Kemper Vote Could Be Challenged

There could soon be a challenge in a controversial sheriff's race in Kemper County. That's because Sheriff Sam Tisdale said he is considering contesting the results from last week's runoff election, where he lost a bid for the Democratic nomination by 92 votes to political newcomer, James Moore.

"It's so many people out there who have questions about the voting," said Tisdale on Tuesday. "And so, that's the only way we can look at them, because we have well over 200 absentee ballots that were thrown out.
For me and for the other man, because many people they want their votes counted."

Tisdale has 12 days after certification of the votes, which took place this past Saturday, to file the challenge.

He is not the only one with concerns about the voting process. Members of the board of supervisors say many constituents have expressed concerns about the new electronic voting system, saying that they want to go back to the old one.

"We had some machines that didn't start until 15 until 9:00," said supervisor Mike Luke. "So, they had to vote on emergency ballots and we just want to see if we can't go back and simplify this and go back to the scanner."

"They're scared of those machines. They're not use to them," said supervisor Johnny Whitsett.

Some election officials have concerns. According to circuit clerk, Roma Allen, in some cases the new system has tripled the workload.

"We never stayed here until midnight. We were always out by 10 or 10:30," Allen said. "We left on the 7th at 3:35 on Wednesday morning. We left at 1:30 on the 28th. There is so much more work involved."

Because of mounting concerns about this, Kemper County supervisors have asked the board's attorney to check with the state and the Justice Department and see if the county can go back to using the old voting system.

The attorney is expected to have more information on this issue available when the board meets again for a budget hearing next Wednesday.


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