Candidate says she’ll contest election

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

At least one candidate for the Selma City Council says she’ll contest her election.

Carolyn Bates, who ran unsuccessfully in Ward 4 last week, said she plans to file papers in the Dallas County Circuit Court today to challenge the election results in her Ward.

The Selma City Council certified those results Tuesday afternoon after adding provisional ballot totals.

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Bates ran fourth in a five-person race for the Ward 4 seat. She received 212 votes after the provisional ballots were counted, which placed her six votes behind Carrie Pressley in third place.

A runoff is set for Oct. 7 between Angela Benjamin, who received 284 votes after the provisional ballots were counted — 62 votes behind the second-place Kelvin Williams, who received 220 votes.

Bates has raised some concerns about students from Concordia College voting. Supporters of Mayor James Perkins Jr. bused in the students to the Selma Mall voting precinct with marked ballots, she said.

Additionally, poll workers didn’t process some of the provisional ballots correctly, Bates said.

“There are many votes that were not counted,” she said.

Bates said she has yet to hire an attorney to represent her. She will file papers with the court.

Pressley also has raised questions about the ability of Concordia students to vote. On Tuesday, during the city council hearing, she raised the issue about residency, saying college residences are temporary, and students do not intend to live there as the law says.

Meanwhile, the end results stayed the same in all the city races with none of the leaders losing their winning position to the opposition.

However, if any of the candidates wish, they may pay for a recount, said Jimmy Nunn, the city’s attorney.

A recount costs $1,000, the attorney said. If one person wants it, that person will shoulder the entire cost; if more want a recount, the city will split the cost.

Candidates have until Thursday to request a recount with Nunn.

A recount is different from contesting the election.

A recount is a counting of the votes again, usually in special elections.

To contest the election means to dispute or file a legal challenge. People who want to contest this municipal election have until Sept. 8 to file the papers in circuit court, Nunn said.