Four of Six Names Will Remain on Ballot for Decatur Council Race

February 21, 2011

Macon County Clerk Steve Bean says having solely write-in candidates for a Decatur city council race means counting the ballots could take longer than a typical primary.

But Bean also anticipates a low voter turnout for a non-mayoral election of 3-to 5-thousand voters. He noted the spelling of all six candidates' names are very different, making it easier for election judges to read the name in the single blank provided. Four of the six names will advance to the April 5th ballot.

The voter needs to indicate their choice for the council seat formerly held by Adam Brown, who was elected to the state legislature in November. Bean stated that it is an expensive election.

"The State Board (of Elections) would not allow us to cut any corners," he said. "We had to set up all the machinery, which is an expensive deal. We had to print regular ballots, hiring election judges, the cost of publishing in the newspaper, the cost of polling places and everything - it's about $100,000, which all the taxpayers in Macon County will pay."

One candidate, Reggie Anderson, is not eligible to serve in office due to a felony conviction. But Bean said Anderson, who has a felony robbery charge on his record, may challenge Decatur's municipal code if he is successful in April. Bean said if Brown had resigned earlier, that would have forced candidates to fill out nominating petitions, and someone could have filed an objection.

"But since Mr. Brown waited so late (to resign from the City Council), there's no way to legitimately remove a write-in candidate," Bean said. "Nobody has ever wanted to challenge the city's municipal code."

Also running are Jamie Duies, Robert Lewis, Pat McDaniel, Ed Bland Junior, and James Thomas Taylor.

Story source: WILL