Election commission declares Ophelia Ford District 29 winner - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Election commission declares Ophelia Ford District 29 winner

Monday afternoon the Shelby County Election Commission voted to officially declare Ophelia Ford as the winner of the close race for the District 29 senate seat. But it was a split decision, 3-2, with some members wanting more attention given to a lawsuit filed by her opponent Terry Roland. They are charged with making sure elections in Shelby County are orderly and untainted, but when it came to their own vote today motives were questioned and allegations were made.

"I am personally disappointed, for lack of a better word, in my republican colleagues on this board," Board Chairman Greg Duckett said.

Republicans Rich Holden and Nancye Hines voted against certifying the special election results that had Ophelia Ford winning by just 13 votes.

Last week, Ford's Republican opponent, Terry Roland filed a lawsuit claiming irregularities such as votes cast by convicted felons and people voting more than once.

"I've reviewed the complaint and I feel there is merit to it are you saying that there is no merit to it?" Hines asked Duckett.

Hines wanted to discuss the lawsuit before taking the vote, but commission chair Greg Duckett said no. When Hines and Holden voted not to certify the results, Duckett claimed partisan politics.

"This is the first time since I've been on this body that certification has not been a unanimous process," Duckett said.

Hines said her decision had nothing to do with party loyalty.

"When there are questions raised we need to look at those questions and check the process and make certain that every vote counts and that they were counted accurately and that's not Democrat or Republican," Hines said.

The Election Commission will move to have Roland's lawsuit dismissed, claiming that court does not have jurisdiction and that this is actually a matter for the Tennessee Senate to take up .


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