Kelly Horwitz, a candidate for the Tuscaloosa City School Board, announced today she has filed a lawsuit to formally challege the election results for District Four's seat.
Unofficial results show Horwitz may have been edged out by candidate Cason Kirby by72 votes in the Aug. 27 election. She has refused to concede the race until all cases of alleged voter fraud have been investigated.
Horwitz issued the following statement just before noon on Friday:
Today I filed suit in the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court, formally challenging the results of the election for District Four's seat on the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education.
The reason I challenged the election is simple. My complaint alleges that a large number of votes cast in District Four were cast by individuals who were ineligible to vote in that district. Perhaps inadvertently in many instances, and deliberately in other cases, individuals voted in the district despite the fact that they had not resided in the district for the legally required length of time, or registered at addresses at which they did not live. I believe that these votes were wrongly cast, wrongly constituted a margin of victory for my opponent, and wrongly disenfranchised the legitimate voters of District Four, including both students and longtime residents of Tuscaloosa's downtown neighborhoods. I also believe that many votes violated Alabama election law because they were cast in exchange for the promise of alcohol or other things of value, and are subject to disqualification.
This is a simple election challenge. The court will examine individual votes and voters to ensure that they voted in accordance with the law and will disqualify them if they did not. Other individuals have raised broader concerns about this election and some of the conduct that took place. It seems likely that no matter what happens with this legal challenge, those concerns will continue to be voiced in other forums. But my concern is a simple, legal one: that elections be free and fair, and that all votes counted be lawfully cast votes. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads.
My only concern is to ensure that this election was fairly conducted. If my opponent is shown to have legally received the requisite number of votes, I will gladly step aside. But I am sure that he and I, and all legal voters and residents of District Four, agree that it would be harmful to the interests of District Four residents to "move on" until we have—properly and through evidence taken under oath—addressed the serious concerns that this election was determined based on improperly cast votes, and thus disenfranchised legitimate voters.
I am grateful to the many University of Alabama students who cast legal, thoughtful votes in this election, no matter who they voted for. I am not making blanket allegations against any individual or group on campus, although if any evidence raises those concerns it will be fully and publicly aired. This challenge will be based primarily on individual evidence taken under oath from individual voters. I have, of course, heard from many individual students, including members of the University's Greek houses, whose consciences were troubled by conduct they witnessed during the election. They are encouraged to contact my attorney with their concerns. Anyone possessing relevant information, documents, or testimony should be aware of their legal obligation to preserve and report such evidence.
Any further inquiries should be directed to my attorney, James H. Anderson, of Jackson, Anderson & Patty, P.C., at (334) 834-5311.
A candidate for the Tuscaloosa City School Board Chair, Denise Hills, conceeded the race to Lee Garrison after losing by 222 votes. She announced yesterday that she would not take legal action to contest the voting results.
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