The examination didn't reveal how anyone voted on Sept. 28, 2010, but it allowed election challenger Steve Hill and his attorney to examine certain absentee and affidavit ballots.
Steve Hill, who lost the Ward 4 alderman election by two votes to J.C. "Honeyboy" Hill, 328-326, contends that as many as 15 voters who voted in the Ward 4 election were not qualified electors because they do not live in the ward.
Judge Vernon Cotten of Leake County, who was assigned to the case after local judges recused themselves, ordered this fact-finding step on Jan. 28, saying that an examination of the absentee ballot envelopes would reveal if all of them were legally cast and might be a determining factor in whether the case needs to proceed further.
The next big day in the process for Steve Hill and attorney Danny Lowrey, and J.C. Hill and attorney Richard Bowen comes this summer.
"Both sides have agreed to a scheduling order to send to the judge today for discovery documents, depositions, and so forth," Lowrey said Thursday.
Lowrey's scheduling timeline includes dates for the various steps to be completed by June 10, but no trial date is scheduled. A finding in Steve Hill's favor would result in a new election for Ward 4 alderman.