Wilkinson vote overruled in

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

Hollins favor



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The Natchez Democrat

WOODVILLE&045;&045;On Monday, Hinds County Chancellor Denise Owens overturned the results of the Democratic primary election for District 2 Supervisor in Wilkinson County, declaring candidate Richard Hollins the winner by three votes, officials said.

The Wilkinson County Democratic Executive Committee had previously certified incumbent Supervisor Kirk Smith as the winner by an 11-vote margin.

Hollins contested the election on claims that absentee and affidavit ballots were improperly rejected by poll workers, among other allegations.

Owens was appointed by the state Supreme Court to hear the dispute and listened to eight hours of testimony in the case Wednesday.

Wilkinson County Circuit Clerk Mon Allen said Owens returned to Woodville Sunday afternoon and examined the contents of the ballot boxes.

Allen said Owens faxed a 14-page ruling in the case to his office shortly after 5:00 p.m. Monday evening. Allen said Owens awarded 519 votes to Hollins and 516 votes to Smith.

Allen contacted the Natchez Democrat at 9:30 p.m. Monday night with news of Owens’ ruling. Allen said he had not yet notified attorneys on either side of the case.