Questions still surround District 29 election

Tonight, a state lawmaker called a town hall meeting to answer voter questions about ethics and one other hot button issue: the District 29 controversy.

Few turned out tonight, but state Representative Barbara Cooper decided to hold the meeting at a church here after voters flooded her office with questions. But it looks like they might have to wait for answers.

The town hall meeting was dominated by District 29 special elections questions, including a heated exchange with a supporter of defeated Republican Candidate Terry Roland.

"You're avoiding the question. How do dead people vote," asked the Roland supporter.

"I answered your direct question sir, dead people can't vote," said Cooper.

Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Greg Duckett told the group that the commission will work to bring to justice the nine people who voted in the name of deceased residents, but that they weren't enough to offset a 13-vote win.

Senator Ophelia Ford's supporters at the meeting say the move to unseat Ford is like pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

"I understand there may be some problems with the process, but I think they need to correct the process before they actually consider removing a candidate," said Dwayne Jones, a District 29 resident.

State Representative Barbra Cooper says that's why community input, like town hall meetings, is crucial.

"We still may be able to take some suggestions or recommendations for the community. I think the community should be involved in the decision-making process," said Cooper.

And Duckett says the input goes beyond Nashville.

"It will definitely impact to the extent that we have constructive recommendations that will impact the local elections," said Duckett.

He told voters that he has made recommendations to implement better residency standards. An issue that also put the final outcome on hold.

The District 29 decision is still up in the air, and a date isn't yet set to make a final call. So with tonight's answers come more questions.