Ficklin sues election board, seeks new Macon-Bibb election

mstucka@macon.comOctober 29, 2013 

Recount

Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin and members of the Bibb County Democratic Party Executive Board look for voting irregularities while the votes are recounted at the Bibb County Board of Elections on Oct. 22. The official results did not change after the recount, and Ficklin is suing to overturn the election.

WOODY MARSHALL — wmarshall@macon.com Buy Photo

Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin is suing the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections, saying his name was left off far more ballots than the 26-vote margin of his loss in the Macon-Bibb Commission District 2 race.

Ficklin wants a judge to call a new election after nullifying the results of the Oct. 15 runoff with fellow Councilman Larry Schlesinger, the official winner.

Ficklin is asking a court to “find that this election is so defective ... that the Court shall render this election invalid and call for a second election to be held.”

Ficklin also is suing Schlesinger and the Macon-Bibb elections supervisor, Jeanetta Watson.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Bibb County Superior Court, says Ficklin’s name was left off absentee ballots and also from some in-person electronic ballots, which far outnumber the difference in votes between Ficklin and Schlesinger.

The election’s problems include “misconduct, fraud or irregularity in the counting of runoff election absentee ballots by election officials sufficient to change or place in doubt the result,” wrote Ficklin, who filed the case without a lawyer.

Ficklin also is asking a judge to prevent Schlesinger from taking office until Ficklin can present his evidence.

Ficklin told The Telegraph that he had reports of people who had been able to vote for him in the District 2 general election in September but couldn’t vote in the runoff. Ficklin said bad information may have come from the state.

“If they can’t send the right information down, then I question whether or not any of the elections are going to be correct going forward or whether they have been in the past,” he said.

Ficklin said the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections went from saying 17 people had been affected by redistricting problems to hundreds.

“After all these snafus, they cannot say there was an electoral process that operated with integrity,” he said.

Bibb County Attorney Virgil Adams said he’ll evaluate the lawsuit.

“We’ll take a look at it and go from there,” Adams said.

Watson and Schlesinger could not be reached for comment.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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