Candidate blames Election Commission for his August 2 loss

Candidate blames Election Commission for his August 2 loss

(WMC-TV) - Could the major problems with the last Shelby County election be to blame for one candidate losing his race?

Unified Shelby County School Board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum Junior thinks so.

Whalum is blaming each member of the Shelby County Election Commission for election problems and his loss.

Reverend Kenneth Whalum is asking for a complete response to his lawsuit, so that the court can determine if the rights of voters have been violated.

"Since we filed the lawsuit, the Election Commission has been stonewalling it and not responding at all. The original trial was scheduled for yesterday, but because if the delays on part of the election commission the chancellor had no choice but to postpone it until next Wednesday," said Rev. Kenneth Whalum Junior.

But John Ryder, an attorney representing the Election Commission, says that is not the case...

"I think it's an overstatement. It's incorrect in its substance. We have filed the answer and we are in the process of responding to discovery requests from the plaintiffs," said Ryder.

Whalum recently filed the suit against the Election Commission in Chancery Court contesting his loss to Kevin Woods.

State officials say poor planning and mistakes with the redistricting process led to problems with the August election in Shelby County.

Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said Tuesday the Shelby County administrator of elections did not order updates to reflect redistricting until mid-June, less than one month before early voting began for the August 2 election.

By law, that process should have gotten started much sooner.

More than 3,000 voters also complained about receiving incorrect ballots, which led to confusion at the polls.

"They're going to have to produce documents that prove that they are able to conduct an election in an efficient manner and they're going to have to prove that their negligence didn't sway the outcome of this particular election," said Whalum.

Whalum says wants to see a legal standard set for elections on the near future.

Meanwhile, the trial date has been rescheduled for October 10.

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