Trial likely in Corinth ward 4 election dispute

By Jebb Johnson/The Daily Corinthian (MCT)

The challenge to Corinth s 2010 Democratic primary runoff result for ward 4 is likely heading to trial.

A circuit judge recently denied challenger Steve Hill s motion for summary judgment in the case. A motion for trial setting entered by Danny Lowrey, attorney for Steve Hill, was filed in Alcorn County Circuit Court on Thursday.

J.C. Hill was certified the winner by two votes over Steve Hill, who was the incumbent. Steve Hill challenged the election result, alleging that a number of voters were not residents of ward 4 and thus cast illegal ballots. His challenge seeks a new election for ward 4.

The court order denying the motion for summary judgment states, the court finds that an issue of material fact exists as to whether or not each of the challenged voters were illegal voters in the ward four alderman race and for whom they voted, which precludes the court from granting judgment as a matter of law in this case.

In a Jan. 28 hearing on the case before Special Circuit Judge Vernon Cotten, Lowrey argued that if he proves a sufficient number of the votes in question are illegal votes, Steve Hill is entitled to a new election. He argues the majority of the voters in question had not lived in ward 4 for some time.

Richard Bowen, representing J.C. Hill, argued that the critical point is a person s voting domicile the place where he or she is registered to vote rather than their current place of residence.

Steve Hill has named 16 individuals who allegedly cast illegal votes in the election. He would seek to prove that at least two of those votes were for J.C. Hill and were illegal, requiring a new election and for the office to be vacated.

Steve Hill s motion for summary judgment included copies of absentee ballot applications and envelopes and documents from utilities and 911 to make his case that the votes were improper.