City clerk: Election will go on as planned

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; The June 8 election will go on as planned despite a planned review of results of the May 18 mayoral runoff, City Clerk Donnie Holloway said Wednesday.

&uot;There will be an election,&uot; Holloway said. Pushing back the date of the general election, he said, would have to be done by a judge.

Holloway added that absentee voting for the general election has already started.

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Natchez Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith is requesting a review of the results of the election in which Phillip West won by 106 votes to capture the Democratic nomination for mayor.

That review, Holloway confirmed, will take place at 9 a.m. Friday in the conference room at City Hall.

If a candidate is not satisfied after the review, he can file a petition to contest &045;&045; no more than 20 days after the election took place &045;&045; with the party executive committee, which would convene a hearing to investigate the election.

If the candidate is still not satisfied with the results of that hearing, he can file a complaint in circuit court.

At that point, it’s up to the court to determine whether the election will be done over again, said David Blount, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office.

&uot;It’s strictly up to the court,&uot; Blount said.

To contest an election, a candidate must prove that enough voting irregularities took place to affect the election’s outcome.

Municipal Election Committee Chairman Larry Gardner said Wednesday he has not received a notice from municipal judge candidate Patricia Dunmore that she wants to review the boxes or plans to contest the election.

In that race, official numbers showed Jim C. Blough with 3,063 votes, or 50.64 percent, to Patricia Fleming Dunmore’s 2,980 votes, or 49.26 percent.