Election is today, despite petition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2003

The incorporation election in Valley Grande will take place today despite one attorney’s actions to halt the election because he says preparation for the election was not complete.

Attorney Collins Pettaway, of Chestnut, Sanders and Sanders, filed a petition on Wednesday with Johnny Jones, Dallas County Probate Judge, asking Jones to halt Valley Grande’s election. Jones, however, declined to grant the petition’s request since Pettaway’s petition was filed the day before the election.

Instead, Jones said that he would consider the matters in Pettaway’s petition at a hearing before certifying the election.

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Jones said that the hearing could occur as early as next week.

The election is scheduled today. The polling site is the Valley Grande Community Center. The poll opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

The petition was received by Jones Wednesday morning, and a response to it by J. Doyle Fuller, attorney representing the Valley Grande residents who wish to incorporate, was sent to Jones later that day.

According to Pettaway, the petition filed by Valley Grande asking for an incorporation election isn’t in proper form and it is his opinion that the election should be canceled.

Pettaway said that an accurate metes and bounds description of the area proposed to be incorporated should have been included with Valley Grande’s petition.

Pettaway added that Valley Grande residents should have gotten a surveyor to track the limits of the city of Selma on their metes and bounds measurement, or done it themselves. Instead, he added, they just said the proposed city would include the area of a certain section of land up to the limits of Selma.

Pettaway also said that some people in Valley Grande wanted to vote by absentee ballot, and added that it is Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor’s opinion that all people should have that option in all elections.

According to Pettaway, those wanting to vote by absentee tried to contact the election inspectors on numerous occasions, but didn’t get a response.

Fuller said in his response that the property in the metes and bounds description and the plat map depicts the same property so there was no merit to that argument.

Fuller also said that the attorney general’s opinion isn’t relevant because it’s an advisory only.