Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Election Facing Challenge Brunswick-Area Seat in House Questioned

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Election Facing Challenge Brunswick-Area Seat in House Questioned

Article excerpt

BRUNSWICK -- The losing candidate in last week's election for

the House District 173 seat has filed a court petition to have

the election set aside and to bar the swearing in of incumbent

E.C. Tillman, D-Brunswick, who won the race.

Tillman received 5,254 votes to Republican Joe Jaudon's 4,116.

In his petition, Jaudon, a Brunswick businessman, says enough

people voted in the wrong Glynn County precincts to cast the

results in doubt.

Jaudon's suit includes only Glynn County and its election

officials. It does not mention McIntosh or Liberty counties,

which are also part of the House district. It names as

defendants Tillman and the five members of the Glynn County

Board of Elections, which is chaired by Cecil Little.

Little says part of Jaudon's complaint is valid but not enough

to change the results.

But Jaudon said he does not have to make up the entire deficit

of more than 1,000 votes. He said he's sure "we could find that

many or more that are not in the right district."

Little said he knows of no cases where judges have tossed out

elections if an insufficient number of votes were disqualified.

Tillman, a Baptist pastor, was in Albany yesterday for the

denomination's state convention and could not be reached for

comment.

Jaudon says there were problems at several polling places split

in redistricting, including:Ballard, Beverly Shores, Glyndale,

Sterling, Jane Macon Middle School and the National Guard

Armory.

As examples of the problems, Jaudon asserts that:

47 of the 84 absentee ballots cast at Jane Macon Middle School

were from the wrong side of the split precinct.

He said members of the same family, living in the same house,

voting at the same polling place were compelled to vote in

different House races, some in the District 173 race and others

in the District 174 race between Republican Stephen Scarlett and

Democrat Jack Caldwell.

He said many non-residents were allowed to vote in District

173 while people who actually lived there were turned away.

`This is a mess," Jaudon said. "It's a real mess and it casts

real doubt on last week's election. …

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