Fri
Apr 14 2006
07:14 am

This is getting ridiculous!

Info and rant after the jump...

Michael Silence is now reporting that the previous interpretation that write-in candidates only had to get 5% of the May 2 primary votes in their district to get on the August general election ballot is incorrect. It now appears that write-in candidates must beat the incumbent if there is one, even if the incumbent is ineligible for office (as twelve of them are for county commission). Go read the article and see if you can make heads or tails of it.

To recap:

  • The parties picked their candidates (or not in some cases) for the primaries. All incumbents for county commission except one, I believe, were running again, many unopposed.
  • After a ruling on Shelby County term limits for county commission, it was decided that the ruling also applies to Knox County. At that point, candidates had already "qualified" and had already been placed on the ballot.
  • The official ballot was prepared, machines programmed, and absentee ballots mailed out as if nothing unusual was going on.
  • Following objections, there was a ruling that the disqualified, term-limited candidates could not be removed from the ballot and the primary could not be rescheduled and the primaries would go on as planned with the ballot that had been set.
  • Another decision said that if a disqualified candidate won in their district, the party would decide how to nominate a replacement for the August elections.
  • More than 40 write-in candidates filed by the deadline to qualify them to have their votes counted and mounted campaigns. Their understanding was that if they got 5% of the votes in their district they would be on the August ballot.
  • Early voting started. By this point, many absentee ballots had already been received back, before the deadline for write-in candidate certification.
  • The day after early voting started, this latest decision came down that write-in candidates have to get more votes than the "official" candidate on the ballot to be included in the August ballot.
  • There are numerous lawsuits, some already thrown out, some still pending, as to whether the primary should be postponed and whether the term-limits also apply to all elected officials (as it says in the Knox County charter). No one can seem to get a definitive court ruling on these questions.
  • Additional questions were raised as to whether the Knox County charter is even valid, or if Knox County even exists legally. A local court indicated that was the case.

    What the hell? This is really amateur hour. Much of the confusion seems to be coming down from state election officials, who trickle out opinions way past when they are needed, and the fact that local courts and the Tennessee Supreme court are unwilling to hear challenges and issue rulings so they can be appealed if necessary to decide these issues once and for all.

    The Knox County Law Director has recused himself, citing a conflict of interest and saying he can't issue opinions because he represents "all of Knox County Government." The last time I checked, the people are the government. At least that's the way it's supposed to work. Who's representing the people? Herb Moncier? Is Herb Moncier the only guy in town who cares about democracy and free and fair and legitimate local elections?

    The newspapers aren't helping. The KNS says "Wait, don't vote. See what develops." What the hell? The only local mainstream newspaper is advocating that voters not vote? The local weekly tabloid issued a bunch of "endorsements", many of which were "vote for the ineligible candidate and let the party pick a replacement." What the hell? Vote for somebody who isn't eligible for office?

    The maneuvering and posturing and interpretation of rules all appear to be geared towards maintaining the status quo and letting the party power brokers, not the people, decide who will be on the ballot in August. Instead of taking advantage of term limits finally being enforced twelve years after voters enacted them to shake things up, the local political machine (of which there only appears to be one, really) is still scheming to keep new blood or fresh ideas out of local government and perpetuate the good-old-boy politically connected power structure.

    Maybe Knox County needs to get Jimmy Carter and some U.N. election observers in there pronto.

    (P.S. Don't blame the Knox County Election Commission entirely. At this point they are caught in the middle and just doing what they are told. A valid concern, however, is that for twelve years they haven't been pressing the term-limits issue to get clear answers on how they were to proceed with putting on a legal and legitimate election. Why do you suppose that is?)

  • 328
    like
    Oren Incandenza's picture

    Amen, and further...

    Thanks for the recap -- and the question about the Election Commission's slow-footed conduct in the face of a fairly resounding vote for term limits is a fair one I'm happy to see someone ask. 

    I think we're all somewhat to blame, though: none of us as far as I can see has really pushed anybody to resolve these questions for years, then the Supreme Court (which actually acted fairly quickly compared to the Court of Appeals) upset the apple cart and now we are where we are.  Another example of how we get the government we deserve.

    All that being said, this process demonstrates among other things that our state election laws are too Byzantine and should be overhauled.  Maybe that could be the pony in this steaming pile of manure.

    SayUncle's picture

    Kinda frightening that no

    Kinda frightening that no one knows what's going on. I'm all for enforcing the rules but I think it's time they seriously looked into postponing the election to settle this stuff otherwise when the elections are done, people will be suing everyone for the forseeable future.

    ---
    SayUncle
    Can't we all just get a long gun?

    Car Guy's picture

    The "having to beat the

    The "having to beat the incumbent" issue has been known for quite some time, but not widely known.

    That's why this whole thing may turn out to be the ultimate backroom deal in Knox County politics. I think I posted something like this awhile back on another thread and there's been an article in the Shopper about Ragsdale's slate and mention of Knox Co. GOP chair Brian Hornback staking claim to different offices.

    If a write in does not beat the incumbent, then it gets thrown into the party's caucus, where those folks (and certainly not the voters) get to pick who actually appears on the ballot.

    There is absolutley no requirement that the parties even consider, let alone pick, the top vote getting write in candidate. Joe Blow, who wasn't even a write in candidate and has friends in the party, could actually be the person on the ballot as the one and only party nominee. That stinks, if you ask me.

    This type of stuff is already even going on in the Democratic party. Here's a true example:

    One candidate who is tied in to the local D party and who's worked for the Ds in the past, is resting on their laurels, counting on their connections to put them on the ballot as the D nominee, and doesn't really care about working hard in the primary, because they think it's going to be handed to them as a reward.

    OTOH, there's another person, who though is a D, but not tied in the local D party, who's busting their tail, going door to door, participating in candidate forums, raising money and started putting yard signs out last week, and trying to work hard and win the whole thing. So if this candidate doesn't beat the incumbent through write-ins, but beats the laurel-resting candidate of above, it goes to the D caucus, the Ds can ignore the will of the voters and put in anyone. Once again, that stinks.

    Number9's picture

    Complete and total voter disenfranchisement

    That's why this whole thing may turn out to be the ultimate backroom deal in Knox County politics.

    Complete and total voter disenfranchisement. When the ineligible incumbent says "Vote for me" what they are really saying is surrender your vote to the Republican or Democratic Party. Where in the Constitution are the Republican or Democratic Party mentioned?

    I wasn't aware I had to pledge allegiance to the ward precinct chairman. I thought my responsibility was to vote.

    Car Guy's picture

    here's an update on. . .

    the saga of the candidate who's working hard versus the candidate who's hardly working. It's from the 37917 listserv

    the first email:

    Amy (Broyles),
       I have a question before voting on Election Day.
       If Tindell wins the primary, and is found ineligible to be on the ballot for the general election, and the decision of who goes on the ballot goes to a caucus type meeting of the Democrats, will you support whoever gets the most votes in the primary to be placed on the general election ballot?   This is confusing, so I'm asking in an effort to find out how my primary vote may affect the choices in the general election.
    Thanks.  C George

    Amy Broyles' response:

     You're right, this is confusing - there are a lot of variables and possible scenarios! If either Jonathan or I get the most votes in the Primary, he or I would be on the ballot in the General Election. If Commissioner Tindell gets the most votes, and is then disqualified due to term limits, the Executive Committee of the Knox County Democratic Party determines who will run in his place. They will choose the person they believe would be the strongest candidate in the General Election. They could choose either Jonathan or me, or someone else entirely – even if that person didn't run in the Primary!

    The vote count in the Primary is only one of many indicators at which the Executive Committee will look when they make their determination. Right now I believe I am the best candidate; however,
    If someone surfaces after the Primary who I believe is a better candidate, I will support them. My focus is on keeping a Democrat (and the best Commissioner possible) in that Commission seat – and I will support whomever the Executive Committee decides has the best chance of winning the General Election.

    If you are uncertain whom you wish to support, I would suggest checking out the websites of both Jonathan ((link...)) and myself ((link...)), then contacting each of us personally with any follow up questions you may have. Your vote does matter!

    Thanks for your interest!
    Amy

    another response:

    I think this is a fair question for each of the candidates, not just Amy.

    Amy has years of experience as a volunteer with the Democratic party. She knows lots of people in the party and community. She has children already in the school system and has seen the positives (and negatives) of public schools. I worked with Amy on the last national election and found her to
    be organized, smart, and politically savy while maintaining a down-to-earth attitude. She and her husband run a great local business so she has business smarts as well.

    I've met the other candidates. If Amy wasn't running, I might have voted for one of them. BUT, since she is, I knew where my vote should go.

    Beth Booker

    The original questioner emails again:

    Guess I'm not going to get the answer to my question.  I would hope that the Democratic Executive group would take  heavily into account the wishes of the voters in the primary and place on the ballot the person who comes in second in the primary, if Tindell wins the primary but can not be on the ballot in the general election.  It would seem logical that the other primary candidate would support the top vote getter in the primary, and I am asking Amy & Jonathan if they would do that.  If the Demo group does not  seek the opinion of the top vote getters in the primary, it seems like an inside job in which the voters voice was ignored.  Why does this seem to be a difficult question for a straight answer?   C George

    Jonathan Wimmer responds:

    C George-

    I am sorry about the late reply but I've been out on the campaign trail all day.

    While there are a number of things that Amy and I agree on, we are polar opposites on this issue.  Just over a week ago I publicly asked the term-limited incumbents to step down in deference to the
    will of the people.  This is no different.  On Tuesday, voters in the second district will choose a candidate for County Commission, Seat 2B.  If Billy Tindell is the winner, is then stripped off the
    ballot for the general election and Amy has come in 2nd, I WILL support her.  However, if I come in second (to Commissioner Tindell) I would hope that the executive committee of the Democratic Party (including Amy) would nominate me for the general election in keeping with the voters' wishes.  It seems preposterous to tell the voter you're going to heed his or her voice in office when you're getting there by doing just the opposite.

    Best,
    Jonathan Wimmer
    Write-in Candidate
    County Commission, Seat 2B

    From C George again: 

    Jonathan,
       That is exactly the information I needed from you and Amy.  Thank you for your reply to my question.  I hope we can hear from Amy with a direct answer as well. 
         Amy, the KNS said this morning that Amy is a member of the Demo executive committee which will probably decide who is placed on the ballot.  Is that true?  Surely not.   Informed voters are better able to make informed choices.    C George

     

    What Amy Broyles said in the News Sentinel today:

    It's also what Democrats Amy Broyles and Jonathan Wimmer are doing in the 2nd District, Seat B, race for incumbent Democrat Billy Tindell's position. Tindell had no opposition until the court ruling.

    "We both want to get as many votes as we can. It's a strategy for both of us," Broyles said.

    Broyles is a Democratic activist and member of the 125-member Democratic Party Executive Committee, which would select the nominees. Wimmer has been active in the Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Association and recently was elected its president but hasn't been active in the local Democratic Party.

    Does Broyles think this gives her an advantage before the executive committee?

    "If that gives me an upper hand, I'm proud of what I've done," she said.

     

    bbeanster weighs in on 37917:

    It will, of course, be very difficult for a write-in to beat an incumbent whose name is on the ballot, even though he is ineligible to serve. So in this case, it would seem that the old cliche' about 2nd place only counting in horseshoes and hand grenades should be expanded, if the Democrats are thinking about four years down the road and hope to keep a traditionally Democratic seat.
    A backroom deal is a backroom deal, no matter which party is cutting it -- and it will not go down well.

     

     

    Paul Witt's picture

    Car Guy,I'm curious... which

    Car Guy,

    I'm curious... which candidate do you think is working hard and which is hardly working?  And who is this "C George" person?

    Bill Young's picture

    Art.VII

    Art.VII,of the Knox County Democratic Party by-laws;"In the event",of a late nomination "The chair shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee for this purpose" I can not find anything,in Art.VII, that says what "the method of nomination " would be.Therefore,it seams to me,there will have to be a motion,at the special called meeting,that would"determine the method of nomination."T.C.A.2-13-204(3).  

    Paul Witt's picture

    Oh for the love of God.Bill,

    Oh for the love of God.

    Bill, The nomination process is this... Jim Gray opens the floor for nominations, someone says "I nominate ...", that nomination is seconded and the person either accepts or rejects the nomination.  It's not really that complicated.

    Bill Young's picture

    Art.VII

    I just don't see that process(method) or any other process;defined in Art.VII, of the by-laws(on Democratic Web-Site,click leadership,look to upper right).My idea ,on process,is an open caucus;held in the county commission district;limited to the voters of that district;many do not agree;& thats fine. BUT Art. VII does not define the process(method)...I believe the process must be defined by the Committee per a motion;seconded & passed on the floor @ the special called meeting.

    Paul Witt's picture

    ARTICLE X. RULES OF ORDER  

    ARTICLE X. RULES OF ORDER
     
    The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of any meeting of the Party except where such rules are inconsistent with this Constitution and Bylaws.

    And you're correct that you can make a motion that the nominations be handled by district committees, conventions or whatever other method you like.  Good luck with that.

    Bill Young's picture

    I agree!!!

    Thanks Paul;I agree,if a motion on method passes it passes...if it don't; it don't.A motion on a open district caucus,in the district;does not have the votes;on the Committee,right now, to pass.I understand it's a tough row to hoe...but I don't think it's a waste of time to try.Again thanks Paul

    Paul Witt's picture

    I suppose I forgot to say

    I suppose I forgot to say that according to Robert's Rules, the standard nominating procedure is what I outlined earlier.  You're going to have to convince a room of 100ish Dems, that already know they're in for a 3-4 hour meeting, that they should spend even more time breaking into district-level groups.

    rikki's picture

    hardly honest

    Anyone who uses the phrase "hardly working" to describe Amy Broyles is not being honest. That's you, "Car Guy". It's the kind of personal bullshit anonymous cowards should refrain from on principle. Do you want to make a principled argument about why the top write-in vote-getter should get the nomination? Fine, do it. Do you want to slander one of the candidates? Come out from behind your anonymity and do it.

    I don't know Jonathan very well, but he's obviously got a real campaign in motion. I do know Amy. How could you not know Amy after she personally registered thousands of voters in 2004 to try and get the theiving shitpile out of the White House? She was probably at every public event that year getting people registered, and she assembled and managed a team of helpers and worried every day whether she was doing enough. Most people would have been satisfied if they had worked a tenth as hard. Amy is working just as hard for write-in votes. I doubt she could "hardly work" even if she wanted to, because she has too much enthusiasm and drive.

    Amy Broyles and Jonathan Wimmer are both fine people and hard workers, and the only way Democrats can lose in this election is by alienating one of them. The party needs people like them who are willing to step up to the plate. Rob Frost is in his final term and will have to be replaced in 2009. Three at-large city council seats are up next year. There will be a need for both of them to run for office again, and anyone who attacks either should be ashamed of themselves, especially when the attack is a blatant inversion of reality.

    Car Guy's picture

    Ouch

    "Submitted by rikki on Mon, 2006/05/01 - 6:27am.

    Anyone who uses the phrase "hardly working" to describe Amy Broyles is not being honest. That's you, "Car Guy". It's the kind of personal bullshit anonymous cowards should refrain from on principle...."

    Wow. I guess I touched a nerve. Sorry about that.

    Here's a question for you rikki: who do you think is the most qualified candidate (Broyles or Wimmer)? 

     

    Joe P.'s picture

    It can't be legal

    No matter the posturing from the state on this or the courts, the current ballot should not be considered legal, the elections postponed, and held when or if the law is settled.

    However, isn't it painfully obvious by this one instance, that, as you said, elections are about maintaining the status uo, preventing actual citizen-led representation?

    At best, it reveals that the two party sytstem tyrannically runs our government, locally and nationally. Sad that most voters will sit numbly and witlessly aside to wait to be told what their rights are.

     

    rikki's picture

    The write-in candidates I've

    The write-in candidates I've spoken with have all been clear on the rules:

    A write-in with no opponent needs 5% of the ballots cast in his or her party's primary to qualify for the August ballot.

    A write-in with other write-in opponents needs to get more votes than the other write-ins and at least 5% of the ballots.

    A write-in with a formal opponent has to outpoll the person with their name on the ballot, otherwise the write-in campaign is just posturing to impress the party bosses.

    I'm sure there are plenty of people confused about how it all works, but the interpretation reported by Michael Silence is that same interpretation I've been hearing all week from candidates and party officials.

    btw, Democrats who opt to crossover and vote the Republican primary (for David Kiger, for example) are doing no harm to any Dem candidates, but Democrats who machine vote in the Dem primary make it harder for write-ins to qualify, especially countywide write-ins like Jim Andrews for Chancellor and Randy Tyree for Sheriff.

    JustJohnny's picture

    How about...

    ....setting the election dates to coincide with 'state and federal' elections while we are changing things up? It just does not make sense that I have to trek out to vote in this May primary.

    Bill Young's picture

    Democrat

    Been @ the Courthouse,the last 2 days,With my Home made Write-In Tyree for Sheriff sign..yup...on the Democrat Ticket...I'm for writin' in Randy...If ya got ?'s about what the Democrats are gonna do... come to the Democrat meeting April 20 meeting....6:30...Labor Temple

    Bill Young's picture

    Don't read

    Don't read Sunday...Go vote Monday....Check out Silence

    Rachel's picture

    btw, Democrats who opt to

    btw, Democrats who opt to crossover and vote the Republican primary (for David Kiger, for example)

    If you live in south Knoxville, yes, please.  Please.  Pretty, pretty please.

    Greg Mackay's picture

    Knox County changes election rules -- again!

     

     As "car guy" and "rikki" pointed out no rules were changed. Knowing your hard earned reputation for being accurate you may want to change your headline. It took some people awhile to understand what Brook Thompson, State Coordinator of Elections has said since the beginning (March 31st meeting of the Election Commission). As you mentioned earlier, the role of the Election Commission is "ministerial". We "administer" elections. We do not have the right, or power to change election rules. All this is in the Tennessee Code. It has taken the public, the media, and even myself awhile to understand the process. "Knox County" did not change any rules.

    You also said:

    "The official ballot was prepared, machines programmed, and absentee ballots mailed out as if nothing unusual was going on. '

    1. All this was done way before the Supreme Court decision. As per state law, we had to send the military/overseas ballots out on March 17th. We do not wait until a month before the election to print ballots, program machines and prepare for an election.They had to be layed out, proofread and printed before 3/17.

    Finally, you and others, ask why the Election Commission did not term limit candidates ten years ago. At the time we were told by both our local attorney, the Knox County Law Director, and our State attorney, the Attorney General, that term limits applied to the City, but not the County officials.

    The City Mayor and Councilpersons were term limited. The County officials, with two exceptions, were not. Again, the Election Commission is a "ministerial" organization. We have those powers specifically granted by the State Legisislature. No more, no less.

    When the State Coordinator of Election, the County Law Director, and the State Attorney General tell us the same thing we have to do it.

     

    R. Neal's picture

    As "car guy" and "rikki"

    As "car guy" and "rikki" pointed out no rules were changed. Knowing your hard earned reputation for being accurate you may want to change your headline. It took some people awhile to understand what Brook Thompson, State Coordinator of Elections has said since the beginning (March 31st meeting of the Election Commission).

    Forgive me if I was confused by Michael Silence's April 14th article (as many have pointed out). When the April 14th headline says "5% won't do it," and "there's a catch," and "'The 5 percent rule does not apply when there is somebody on the ballot,' said state election coordinator Brook Thompson" as if this were news, I guess I mistakenly assumed this was yet another new interpretation of the rules (not that there has been much of that going on.)

    Voters who are paying attention might be even more confused if they saw the KNS article on April 10th which stated:

    As of Friday, at least 14 people had notified the Election Commission that they plan to mount a campaign in an attempt to get their names added to the August general election ballot.

    For that to happen, they must get at least 5 percent of the total vote cast in the district primary.

    The article doesn't say anything about them having to beat someone on the "official" ballot. (Even if the candidates on the "offical" ballot are term-limited and ineligible to hold office.) If you don't like my headline, take it up with Michael Silence and the KNS.

    And why should it "take some people awhile to understand what Brook Thompson was saying"? Why hasn't the KCEC been out front of that making sure people understand what's going on?

    How many people going to the polls don't read blogs or newspapers every day and have no idea what is going on here? My 82 year old Dad can barely keep up, but he cares enough that he went to the trouble to find out who the 12 term limited commissioners are and write down their names so he could make sure he didn't vote for any of them.

    In addition, you have not responded to my question as to whether there is any indication on the ballot or any notification to voters at the polling places that twelve candidates for county commission currently on the Knox County ballot have been ruled by the Tennessee Supreme Court as being ineligible for office. Is there?

    You also never responded to my question as to whether the KCEC was instructed by the Knox County Law Director to remove the 12 term-limited candidates' name from the ballot. But I understand that was a situation in flux that has since been resolved and that it is now unfortunately a moot point.

    As to your other points about my "accuracy"...

    All this was done way before the Supreme Court decision. As per state law, we had to send the military/overseas ballots out on March 17th [2006]. We do not wait until a month before the election to print ballots, program machines and prepare for an election. They had to be layed out, proofread and printed before 3/17 [2006].

    Something unusual was indeed going on. From the recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision:

    On June 9, 2005, the trial court found that Shelby County’s term limits relate to the qualifications for holding office and, yherefore, the charter provision imposing the term limits was authorized by Tennessee Code Annotated section 5-1-201(4). The trial court also ruled that the charter provision was not the product of an unlawful delegation of the legislature’s power to establish qualifications for elected county officers in violation of Article VII of Tennessee’s constitution. Thus, the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants and denied injunctive relief to the plaintiffs.

    This decision, from June of 2005, was ultimately upheld by the Tennessee Supreme Court. What inquiries did the Knox County Election Commission maker regarding the June 9, 2005 finding and what effect it might have on Knox County elections?

    Again, the Election Commission is a "ministerial" organization. We have those powers specifically granted by the State Legislature. No more, no less.

    From the Knox County Election Commission website:

    Mission Statement
    The Knox County Election Commissions' purpose as designated
    by Tennessee Code Annotated (2-1-102) is to:
    - secure the freedom and purity of the ballot
    - require voters to vote in the precincts they reside except as otherwise expressly permitted
    - provide a comprehensive and uniform election procedure and encourage maximum participation by all citizens in the electoral process
    Greg Mackay
    Administrator of Elections

    Along with that mission, there would appear to be a duty to seek impartial legal opinions on litigation and court decisions that might affect voter rights, the "freedom and purity of the ballot", and a "comprehensive and uniform election procedure". So how come Herb Moncier is the only one filing lawsuits?

    Look, I have been thoroughly impressed with the KCEC operations and your running of Knox County elections. You are open, forthright, proactive, and responsive. I understand that this is an unprecedented, and totally screwed up situation. But lots of folks are also beginning to wonder why these issues haven't been resolved before now. And really, they still aren't.

    At any rate, as someone else pointed out it is what it is and here we are. I hope the KCEC and Knox County government will take a proactive approach to resolving all these issues and running a good election that promotes democracy and good local government by the people.

    Java's picture

    A key item is being

    A key item is being overlooked with regard to a "term limited" incumbent's ability  to serve -  

    Note from Chancellor Weaver's April 11th Ruling:

    "As of this time," Weaver noted in his ruling, "no court has adjudicated any of the candidates to be ineligible to serve."

     

    Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 12, 2006, Jim Balloch 

     

     

    JustJohnny's picture

    courts.....

    shouldn't have to rule on it if voters already decided the issue.

    Source: JustJohnny, April 17, 2006, Me

    Okay --bad Monday humor. Sorry!

    rikki's picture

    fair question

    Along with that mission, there would appear to be a duty to seek impartial legal opinions on litigation and court decisions that might affect voter rights, the "freedom and purity of the ballot", and a "comprehensive and uniform election procedure". So how come Herb Moncier is the only one filing lawsuits?

    That's a fair question, but as I understand it, the election commission would exercise that duty through the county law director. It is the responsibility of the commissioners to pass resolutions asking the law director to press the matter. County commission as well could have voted to secure a legal ruling on whether to carry out the will of the voters rather than settling for a legal opinion. Knox Co voters have had multiple occasions to remove Mike Moyers from office for failing to press for enforcement of the 1994 referendum.

    Greg McKay's job is to administer the ballot as instructed, which must not be easy with a bevy of instructions and deadlines.

    A court in Memphis is considering voiding last year's special election to replace the Ford that resigned in the Tennessee Waltz sting. Some of the voters were dead on election day, when Ophelia Ford won by a slim margin.

    Maybe if Knox Co botches this election badly enough we can have do overs. Lawyers could bandy the case about the courts for the next two years and get a definitive ruling just in time to screw up the 2008 county elections!

    Voided elections are actually quite common. There was one in Anderson Co four years ago. Some nursing home residents convinced a judge they were denied ballots in an election decided by a slim margin. Since the contest was three candidates running for two seats on county commission, the court awarded one seat to the top vote-getter held a revote months later for the other seat.

    What's the statute of limitations on elections? Can we still try to get the illegal West Palm Beach ballot voided?

    Number9's picture

    Along with that mission,

    Along with that mission, there would appear to be a duty to seek impartial legal opinions on litigation and court decisions that might affect voter rights, the "freedom and purity of the ballot", and a "comprehensive and uniform election procedure". So how come Herb Moncier is the only one filing lawsuits?

    That's a fair question, but as I understand it, the election commission would exercise that duty through the county law director. It is the responsibility of the commissioners to pass resolutions asking the law director to press the matter. County commission as well could have voted to secure a legal ruling on whether to carry out the will of the voters rather than settling for a legal opinion. Knox Co voters have had multiple occasions to remove Mike Moyers from office for failing to press for enforcement of the 1994 referendum.

    If you are saying that the Knox County Commissioners, Knox County Law Director Mike Moyers, and Knox County Election Commissioner Greg McKay all had a sworn duty to "secure a legal ruling" on whether to implement term limits I would agree.

    Of these people Mike Moyers is the most negligent. As Knox County Law Director since 2000 he has not only ducked this responsibility from the day he was elected he has now recused himself for the flimsy excuse that he is running for office. He is running unopposed.

    rikki's picture

    If you are saying that the

    If you are saying that the Knox County Commissioners, Knox County Law Director Mike Moyers, and Knox County Election Commissioner Greg McKay all had a sworn duty to "secure a legal ruling" on whether to implement term limits I would agree.

     Greg Mackay is not a Knox County Election Commissioner. Remove him from that list and replace him with the actual election commissioners, and you will have correctly understood me.

    rikki's picture

    Moyers

    I disagree with you about Moyers being the most culpable of the several entities that failed to ask a court to rule on not honoring the 1994 referendum. While he likely has the power to file on behalf of the electorate, his authority is superceded by that of county commission and the sheriff and county mayor.

    The officerholders at the time of the referendum are most culpable. If a law director were elected on a promise to pursue the matter in court, his election would serve as a mandate to take action. Otherwise, the choice to honor his predecessor's decision on the matter is reasonable, at worst timid.

     County Commission is the most culpable entity, I think. Did they ever vote on the issue?

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    Lost Medicaid Funding

    To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

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