Affidavits will tell in election commission race

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Affidavit ballots were expected to confirm today whether incumbent District 5 Election Commissioner Gordon “Motor” Carr will get a new term.

In the other two contested election commission races, both incumbents were re-elected by large margins.

Carr, 77, according to uncertified returns, took 2,005 votes out of the 4,009 ballots cast in that race. His challenger, fellow Republican Karoline Finch, 43, had 1,991 votes.

“It’s too close to call,” Finch said. “We just have to wait and see.”

With a difference of 14 ballots between the two, affidavit ballots could put either candidate on top. Most affidavit ballots are those accepted at polling places from people who say they should be listed on poll books, but are not. Election commissioners, in turn, verify the eligibility of the voter and count those ballots from people who should have been allowed to vote. An example would be a voter who moved into the district since the last election and did not notify election officials.

“It’s just too tight to call right now,” Carr said.

The election commission began counting affidavit ballots this morning, but it could still be days before a final tally is available.

“I got two hours of sleep last night and I really thought when I left (the courthouse) tonight I would sleep,” Finch said this morning. “But, no.”

Normally, election commission races are low-key, but this year the competition has seen some excitement.

Finch had filed a protest over Carr’s listing on the ballot, saying his service as a jury commissioner meant he was ineligible for an election commission appointment. Carr had served both commissions since he was elected to the election commission in 1997.

Carr resigned from the jury commission prior to the general election.

In the District 1 race, Johnny Brewer was unopposed on the ballot, although he was initially denied a ballot listing because his petition was not verified before the deadline. Brewer sued and won forcing supervisors to reverse their earlier decision and listed Brewer on the ballot.

Lena Corbin, who would have been his opponent, died the same day the judge appointed to hear the matter ruled Brewer had completed requirements for ballot listing.

Brewer received 3,594 votes although 121 chose to write in on the ballot.

In the District 4 race, Republican James “Mac” McMullin, no age, won a third term over his challenger Bobbie Williamson, 66, an independent. McMullin had 2450 votes to Williamson’s 1135.

“I’m happy,” McMullin said. “I’m glad it’s finally over.”

Democrat LaShondra Williams was elected to her first full term on the election commission with 1843 votes. Her opponent, Republican Nancy Clingan, 59, had 952.

Williams, 25, was elected to the commission during a 1999 special election.

Election commissioners work up to 85 days a year and are paid a maximum of $7,000. They enroll voters, maintain voter lists and assign voters to precincts. They design ballots and conduct elections, including the training of poll workers.