More VG petitions filed

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2003

Valley Grande’s incorporation hearing concluded Wednesday, but the arguments continue.

According to J. Doyle Fuller, attorney representing Valley Grande residents who want the recent election in which residents voted overwhelmingly to incorporate to stand, an election can’t be set aside just because of allegations that someone was denied the right to vote.

On Wednesday, Valley Grande resident Rita M. Lett testified that her children were denied the right to vote in Valley Grande’s incorporation election because they couldn’t receive absentee ballots.

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Lett said she tried to contact two of the three election inspectors to ask them about absentee ballots but never received a response.

After being questioned by Fuller, Lett said that she never tried to get in touch with the third election inspector, Judy Harris.

Fuller said that if the Valley Grande election is allowed to stand then he would play an advisory role through the various steps that follow, such as answering questions residents might have about adopting city ordinances.

He expressed doubts as to the election’s quick certification, saying, “We may have to have another hearing.&uot;

That’s because Collins Pettaway, attorney representing Valley Grande residents who don’t want to incorporate, filed three additional petitions with Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones 10 minutes before Wednesday’s hearing.

The new petitions allege that Benjamin Allen of Selma was denied the right to vote. They also allege that some residents who signed the petition to incorporate weren’t registered to vote in Valley Grande at the time they signed their names.

Pettaway said he’ll wait on Jones to make a decision on certifying the election. “I’m confident that he’ll follow the law,” Pettaway said.

If Jones chooses to certify the election, however, then Pettaway said he would appeal to circuit court.

Jones said a decision would be handed down within two weeks.