West Point mayoral candidate calls for recount

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

By Tyler H. Jones


LaGRANGE — An unsuccessful contender for mayor of West Point is appealing the election’s results and asking a superior court judge to order a recount.

Deedee Williams of East 8th Street lost the Nov. 3 mayoral race to incumbent West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson by 26 votes out of 846 cast, and on Nov. 10 filed a petition with the Troup County Clerk of the Court asking Superior Court Judge Jack Kirby to order a recount, according to court records.

The filings name the boards of election and registration for Troup and Harris counties, along with the city of West Point as defendants. Harris County election officials helped conduct the West Point mayoral election because part of the city lies in the limits of that county.

Williams’ filing calls for a “recount of valid votes (and) discarding of any votes that were cast in the name of deceased residents and/or nonresidents.”

Court records also show Williams contends “persons exercising their right to participate in early voting have been illegally disqualified or otherwise not counted.”

Williams, who is representing herself, had no additional comment when reached this morning by phone.

On Nov. 9, West Point City Clerk Richard McCoy, who certified the election, sent Williams a letter denying her initial request for a recount, saying the request did not apply to the West Point mayoral election. McCoy cited state law that calls for an automatic recount if the margin of victory is less than 1 percent of the total votes cast. A total of 846 votes were cast in the election, and the margin of 26 votes is about 3 percent.

State law also allows for a recount if three or more voters approach the election superintendent before the election is certified and request a recount.

“While I recognize that your petition alleged fraudulent acts, irregularities and illegalities in the conduct of the election, such general allegations do not contain proposed facts in support of the charge,” McCoy wrote in a letter to Williams.

McCoy had no additional comment when reached by phone this morning.

On the evening of the election, there was at least one voting machine that initially failed to properly print results and had to be taken to the Harris County elections supervisor in Hamilton. Once the election supervisor inspected the machine, she was able to print the results.

Attorneys representing the defendants responded to Williams’ filing on Nov. 20 and contended that Williams’ request is not valid because she failed to show sufficient evidence to support her allegations and had not filed the proper paperwork to request the injunction.

Troup County Clerk of the Court Jackie Taylor said Monday that Williams’ petition is a docketed case, but one of the two parties — Williams or the defendants — would need to request for the case to be placed on a calendar to appear before the judge.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.