Senate committee recommends voiding Ford's election

The Senate should void a special election that put a Memphis Democrat into office, a committee looking into claims of voting irregularities recommended Thursday.

Sen. Ophelia Ford was certified the 13-vote winner of the September election, but it was immediately challenged by the Republican candidate.

A special Senate committee looking into the case voted 4-1 Thursday that there was enough evidence to conclude her margin of victory was in doubt because of ballots cast in the names of dead voters, felons and people who didn't live in the district.

The matter now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to take it up on Wednesday.

In February, Senate Majority Leader Ron Ramsey persuaded the Senate to vote to oust Ford, but a federal judge interrupted that process and said the Senate could continue only if it has consistent standards for voiding election results.

Ford, who hasn't been accused of wrongdoing, took over the Senate seat vacated by her brother John after he was indicted in the Tennessee Waltz public corruption investigation.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)