Suit filed in Wilkinson County election

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 21, 2008

WOODVILLE — Three individuals have filed suit to try to put a halt to the specially called Wilkinson County Democratic primary do-over.

Wilkinson County residents Robert Morgan, James Jolliff Jr. and Eugene Tolliver Jr. filed the suit with the U.S. District Court in Jackson alleging several election laws would be violated if the election is to continue.

The suit also alleges the way the election will be conducted could potentially lead to discrimination against black voters in Wilkinson County, a group the suit describes as “politically cohesive.”

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The election is scheduled to take place April 15.

The suit names the Wilkinson County Democratic Executive Committee, the Wilkinson County election commission, the state board of election commissioners and the as of yet unknown special master for the election as defendants.

The state board of election commissioners is composed of Attorney General Jim Hood, Gov. Haley Barbour and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann

Judge Jim Persons ordered the new election after a months-long election contest over the results of the Aug. 9, 2007 Democratic primary.

During the contest, Persons decided to throw out all absentee, affidavit and curbside ballots because the court could not be assured they had not been tampered with in the time between the election and the beginning of the contest, in November.

Persons ruled that the will of the voters of Wilkinson County could not be determined without the paper ballots, and thus a new election must be called.