One Vote Makes A Difference
June 13, 2018
Southern Torch (3351 articles)
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One Vote Makes A Difference

By Marla Jones • marla@southerntorch.com

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — The DeKalb County Republican Executive Committee convened their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

Alabama Attorney General candidate Troy King addressed the members of the committee as well as the citizens in attendance. King previously served as an assistant attorney general and legal advisor to Governors Riley and James before being appointed as Attorney General of Alabama in 2004. He was elected to a full term in 2006, but failed to win the Republican primary for re-election in 2010. He will face incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall in a runoff on July 17.

DeKalb County Republican Party Chairman Scotty Vaughn also addressed the committee in regards to the tied race for DeKalb County Board of Education – District 3. The race became a tie after provisional ballots were counted on June 12 and it was found that both Jeff Williams and Arlan “Monk” Blevins received 749 votes a piece.

Vaughn stated:

“After the provisional ballots were counted on June 12 there was a tie for 2nd place between Jeff Williams and Arlan (Monk) Blevins with each having 749 votes. To my knowledge this has never occurred in DeKalb county, however there is [precedent] in other counties and laws to deal with the situation. There are (2) laws pertaining to this situation and can be found at the secretary of state’s website under election laws.

1.) 17-13-18 which states “(c) At the second primary election, no person can be a candidate except the two persons who receive the highest number of votes for the offices for which they were candidates in the first primary election.”

2.) Section 17-13-21 – “Tie votes. If, in any primary election held under the provisions of this chapter, there shall be a tie vote cast, then such tie shall be decided by the chair of the state executive committee, if the office is an office other than a county office, and by the chair of the county executive committee, if the office is a county office.”

In other counties where this has occurred the local sheriff flipped a coin to determine the winner. I was advised by the state party to flip a coin with written rules that each candidate agreed to. At the DeKalb County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting June 12th I advised each candidate at the same time of the situation. Both candidates didn’t feel comfortable with the coin toss and wanted the Executive Committee to vote for the winner. After asking the candidates multiple times if they were sure this what they wanted to do, with both of them agreeing, I brought it to the Committee. With a quorum established I asked the secretary to pass out ballots for the executive committee members to place their vote. While we were giving out the ballots we gave each candidate a chance to address the committee. After the votes were counted Jeff Williams received the most votes and will face Carol Hiett in the July 17th runoff.”

“I was confident in the Chairman of the Executive Committee to make the decision by voting,” said Williams. “I wasn’t fond of the flip of a coin, and I had already determined that if there was a tie, I was going to go home and trust that they [the Committee] would work it out.”

After the ballot, it was revealed that Williams won by one vote and that he will indeed face Hiett in the runoff.

“This whole thing was crazy,” said Blevins. “When you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, it did. If people think that their vote doesn’t count, just look at this race. People need to take the time to vote.”

“I would like to congratulate Carol Hiett and Jeff Williams and wish them the best,” Blevins continued. “I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received.”

The runoffs for both statewide races like Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General and local races like DeKalb County Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, July 17.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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